Main content area

Spectral Analysis of Satellite Altimeter and Tide Gauge Data around the Northern Australian Coast

Gharineiat, Zahra, Deng, Xiaoli
Remote Sensing 2020 v.12 no.1
altimeters, altimetry, climatology, coasts, continental shelf, gauges, prediction, remote sensing, satellites, sea level, spectral analysis, tides, time series analysis, Australia
The north of Australia is known for its complex tidal system, where the highest astronomical tides (HATs) reach 12 m. This paper investigates the tidal behaviour in this region by developing spectral climatology for tide gauge and altimetry data. Power spectral density analysis is applied to detect the magnitude of ocean tides in 20 years of sea-level data from multimission satellite altimeters and tide gauges. The spectra of altimetry sea level anomaly (SLA) time series have their strongest peaks centred at approximately 2.11, 5.88, and 7.99 cycles per year (cpy), corresponding to the diurnal and semidiurnal tidal constituents K₁, M₂, and O₁, respectively. Closer to the coastline, the spectra peak at high-frequency overtide and shallow-water constituents such as M₄, MK₄, and MK₃. There have been many large, high-frequency spectral peaks near the coastline, indicating the difficulty of predicting tidal signals by coastal altimetry. Similar to altimetry observations, there are dominant semidiurnal and diurnal tidal peaks in tide gauge SLA time series accompanying a number of overtides. The semidiurnal and diurnal peaks are mostly higher on the northwest coast of Australia compared with the north and northeast coast. The results from both altimetry and tide gauges indicate that tidal range increases with increasing continental shelf.