Climate Data

AVISO: Satellite derived Sea Surface Height above Geoid

The sea surface height relative to the geoid (the mean ocean surface of the Earth if the ocean is at rest) is derived from TOPEX/Poseidon, Envisat, Jason-1, and OSTM/Jason-2 altimetry measurements. Altimetry is a technique for measuring height. Satellite altimetry measures the time taken by a radar pulse to travel from the satellite antenna to the surface and back to the satellite receiver. Combined with precise satellite location data, altimetry measurements yield sea-surface heights. This AVISO dataset was created by binning and averaging monthly values on 1 degree grids.

AVISO stands for "Archiving, Validation and Interpretation of Satellite Oceanographic data".

Years of Record

1992/10 to 2010/12
temporal metadataID:




Data Time Period Extended?

no, data set not being extended


Spatial Resolution

1°x1° (Obs4MIPS & JPL)

Ocean or Land

Ocean Only

Missing Data Flag

missing data present

Vertical Levels

Input Data

satellite radar pulses

Earth system components and main variables

Key Figures

Click the thumbnails to view larger sizes



Climate Data Guide Image AVISO: Sea surface height above Geoid; number of observations and the standard error (November, 1996). [Climate Data Guide; D. Shea]

Cite this page

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 01 Jul 2016. "The Climate Data Guide: AVISO: Satellite derived Sea Surface Height above Geoid." Retrieved from

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