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Publication Title

Ocean Science








Since the advent of the modern satellite altimeter era, the understanding of the sea level has increased dramatically. The satellite altimeter record, however, dates back only to the 1990s. The tide gauge record, on the other hand, extends through the 20th century but with poor spatial coverage when compared to the satellites. Many studies have been conducted to create a dataset with the spatial coverage of the satellite datasets and the temporal length of the tide gauge records by finding novel ways to combine the satellite data and tide gauge data in what is known as sea level reconstruction. However, most of the reconstructions of sea level were conducted on a global scale, leading to reduced accuracy on regional levels, especially when there are relatively few tide gauges. The seas around the Korean Peninsula are one such area with few tide gauges before 1960. In this study, new methods are proposed to reconstruct past sea level around the Korean Peninsula. Using spatial patterns obtained from a cyclostationary empirical orthogonal function decomposition of satellite data, we reconstruct sea level over the period from 1900 to 2014. Sea surface temperature data and altimeter data are used simultaneously in the reconstruction process, leading to an elimination of reliance on tide gauge data. Although we did not use the tide gauge data in the reconstruction process, the reconstructed sea level has a better agreement with the tide gauge observations in the region than previous studies that incorporated the tide gauge data. This study demonstrates a reconstruction technique that can potentially be used at regional levels, with particular emphasis on areas with poor tide gauge coverage.


© Author(s) 2018.

This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Data Availability

Article states: "The reconstructed SLA data is available upon request from Se-Hyeon Cheon ("

Original Publication Citation

Cheon, S.-H., Hamlington, B. D., and Suh, K.-D.: Reconstruction of sea level around the Korean Peninsula using cyclostationary empirical orthogonal functions, Ocean Science,14(5), 959-970,, 2018.


0000-0002-2315-6425 (Hamlington)


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