Articles | Volume 15, issue 11
30 Nov 1997
30 Nov 1997

Non-tidal aliasing in seasonal sea-level variability and annual Rossby waves as observed by satellite altimetry

G. Chen and R. Ezraty

Abstract. It is becoming well known that aliasing associated with ocean tides could be a major source of systematic error in altimeter sea-level measurements, due to asynoptic sampling and imperfect tide modelling. However, it has been shown that signals of non-tidal origin may also contribute significantly to the observed aliasing. In this paper, numerical simulations are performed to demonstrate the full aliasing potential associated with altimeter observations of seasonal sea-level variability and annual Rossby waves. Our results indicate that ignorance of non-tidal aliasing may lead to the possibility of underestimating the total aliasing and misinterpreting or overlooking existing geophysical phenomena. Therefore, it is argued that an entire aliasing picture should be kept in mind when satellite altimeter data are analysed.