• Envisat;
  • satellite altimetry

A growing number of coastal observing systems are incorporating altimeter data. This requires new methods to reduce errors caused by land in the radar footprints and inaccuracies in atmospheric and geophysical corrections near land.

These issues are being addressed in individual research projects and by two major European initiatives. COASTALT (funded by the European Space Agency (ESA)) is developing processing tools for retrieving along-track altimeter data from the Envisat satellite in coastal regions, while Prototype Innovant de Système de Traitement pour l'Altimètrie Côtière et l'Hydrologie (PISTACH, funded by Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), France) is doing the same for data from the Jason 1 and 2 satellites. To coordinate these efforts, a second workshop on coastal altimetry was held in Italy to review progress since the first workshop (see W. H. Smith et al., Eos, 89(40), 380, 2008). The second workshop was sponsored by ESA and CNES together with Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy) and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (United Kingdom). Seventy-eight participants from 16 countries attended this workshop.