European sea level 'delayed-mode' data

The European sea level delayed-mode data portal exists to:

  • Bring together formerly scattered sea level data from governmental and non-governmental organisations operating tide gauges along European coasts
  • Provide quality-assured data to a broad range of scientific and non-scientific users

The portal was set up following principles established by the EU ESEAS Research Infrastructure project (ESEAS-RI). It uses a modified version of the data format agreed in the project and provides standardised access to the delayed-mode data and metadata. BODC has developed automatic retrieval and checking software that trawls the originators’ FTP sites for new or modified data. The heading metadata is created using controlled vocabularies. The data are loaded into a database, which is searchable via the website.

The Observing Sites are primarily tide gauges providing continuous measurements of the sea level relative to a well-monitored benchmark on land. Some of these tide gauges are located with geodetic techniques such as continuous Global Positioning System or absolute gravity measurements. Sites committed to the European Sea Level portal have to operate according to the accepted standards. These are defined and classified by the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS).

The GLOSS Core Network is complemented by the definition of regional sets of tide gauges in several parts of the world, providing an extension and local densification of the GLOSS Core Network. The European Sea Level Community is an example of a regional effort with ties to GLOSS. There continues to be a clear societal demand for monitoring, understanding and predicting sea-level changes for the European region as a whole and therefore a need for the best possible European sea-level data. The European Sea Level Community has made a number of efforts in the past to establish and maintain a regional presence. The ESLD contributes to this by providing a mechanism for the exchange of delayed mode information for science and other off-line analyses.