Nonseasonal sea level variations in the Japan/East Sea from satellite altimeter data

Byoung Ju Choi, Dale B. Haidvogel, Yang Ki Cho

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31 Scopus citations


A merged TOPEX/POSEIDON and ERS-1/2 altimeter data set is used to estimate nonseasonal variations of sea surface height (SSH) in the Japan/ East Sea (JES) from October 1992 through February 2002. The altimeter data have a good correlation (0.95) with tide gauge data in the western JES. The nonseasonal variability of the SSH is higher in the southern warm region than in the northern cold region. The root-mean square value of the nonseasonal SSH is 5-10 cm in the southern area, whereas it is about 4 cm in the northern area. Empirical orthogonal function analysis of the nonseasonal SSH shows the first mode to be related to intraseasonal oscillations over the entire JES and the second mode to interannual path variations of the Tsushima Warm Current (TWC). The path change of the TWC is responsible for the high variability of SSH in the southern region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


  • Altimeter data
  • Empirical orthogonal function analysis
  • Japan/East Sea
  • Nonseasonal variations
  • Sea level

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