National Aeronautics and Space Administration official home page


University of Rhode Island official home page


Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island official home page


Other Data Portals:

Sea Surface TemperatureSea surface temperature field for the western North Atlantic showing the Gulf Stream off the eastern coast of the United States

Sea Surface HeightSea Surface Height field of the eastern Pacific Ocean showing a strong El Nino.

Ocean Surface WindsSurface ocean wind field under a hurricane.

Ocean ColorChlorophyll field of the North and South Atlantic.

Ocean Surface PrecipitationRainfall intensity near the center of Hurricane Katrina shows areas of deep convection where latent heat is being released into the storm.

Other Ocean DataAverage distribution of water vapor in January 2003, measured from the Earth's surface to the top of the atmosphere.

Sea Surface Height field of the eastern Pacific Ocean showing a strong El Nino.

Sea Surface Height (SSH) Data Portal

The following list summarizes some of the important characteristics of OPeNDAP served data sets accessible through this portal. Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) are currently being developed to search and access these data collections and will soon be available in the Matlab OPeNDAP Ocean Toolbox. The AVISO data sets represent the most comprehensive collection of sea surface height data accessible on the web today. These data sets, and others as they come online, are organized and more fully described in a THREDDS catalog. This catalog includes important metadata, as well as enabling further access to the data down to the granule level.

All of the following data collections are available via OPeNDAP command line clients:

  • AVISO Maps of Sea Level Anomalies and Significant Wave Height are global in extent and available from 1992 to the present at high (1/3°) and low (1°) spatial resolution. The elevation anomalies are derived from radar altimeters aboard the following satellites: Jason-1 (NASA/CNES), Envisat (ESA), ERS-2 (ESA), GFO (US Navy), Topex/Poseidon (NASA/CNES), and are available separately or as merged data sets. The orbits of these satellites are sun-synchronous except for Jason-1 and Topex/Poseidon which are in inclined but non sun-synchronous orbits. Sea surface heights are computed with respect to a seven day mean and all these time series data are produced at a 3.5 day temporal resolution. A Matlab GUI is currently in development for this data set.
  • NASA/JPL WOCE Sea Surface Height data are available on 0.5° (binned) and 1.0° (interpolated) grids over the global ocean from 1992 to 2001. The data were produced as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and were derived from the radar altimeters on board the Topex/Poseidon satellite, which was in an inclined but non sun-synchronous orbit. These sea surface height (time series) data are available as 5 day (1.0°) or 10 day (0.5°) averages and are referenced to the 1993-2001 mean with tidal and inverted barometer effects removed. A Matlab GUI is currently being planned for this data set.