Reflecting on the first three years of TOPEX/POSEIDON
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©1996. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 77, Issue 12, pages 109–117, 19 March 1996
How to Cite
1996), Reflecting on the first three years of TOPEX/POSEIDON, Eos Trans. AGU, 77(12), 109–117, doi:10.1029/96EO00071., , , and (
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
The U.S./FranceTOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) satellite, in orbit since August 1992, is the first global ocean observing system specifically designed to study ocean dynamics. The satellite uses a state-of-the-art radar altimeter system to determine the sea level—the height of sea surface relative to a reference ellipsoid—with an unprecedented accuracy. It is supplying a wealth of new information on ocean circulation and the patterns of the global seasonal cycle, low-frequency wave dynamics, gyre-scale variabilities, ocean tides, and global mean sea level variations. These observations are being used to test ocean circulation theories and the ever-maturing computer models of ocean general circulation.