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Interpolation of Tidal Levels in the Coastal Zone for the Creation of a Hydrographic Datum

By J.F. Turner, J.C. Iliffe, M.K. Ziebart, C. Wilson and K.J. Horsburgh


As part of the U. K. Hydrographic Office (UKHO)-sponsored Vertical Offshore Reference Frames (VORF) project, a high-resolution model of lowest astronomical tide (LAT) with respect to mean sea level has been developed for U.K.-Irish waters. In offshore areas the model relies on data from satellite altimetry, while in coastal areas data from a 3.5-km-resolution hydrodynamic tide-surge model and tide gauges have been included. To provide for a smooth surface and predict tidal levels in unobserved areas, the data have been merged and interpolated using the thin plate spline method, which has been appropriately tuned by an empirical prediction test whereby observed values at tide gauges were removed from the solution space and surrounding data used to predict its behavior. To allow for the complex coastal morphology, a sea distance function has been implemented within the data weighting, which is shown to significantly enhance the solution. The tuning process allows for independent validation giving a standard error of the resulting surface of 0.2 m for areas with no tidal observation

Topics: Marine Sciences
Publisher: American Meteorological Society
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1175/2009jtecho645.1
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