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An Investigation into Sea Level Rise in Sri Lankan Waters with Satellite Altimetry

Corrected version of this article has been publshed under the section "Corrigendum" in the same issue on 15th October

Authors:

M. D. E. K. Gunathilaka ,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya 70140, LK
About M. D. E. K.
Department of Surveying and Geodesy, Faculty of Geomatics
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W. S. Kannangara

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya 70140, LK
About W. S.
Department of Surveying and Geodesy, Faculty of Geomatics
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Abstract

Most of the socio-economic activities of Sri Lanka are centred in the coastal regions, which can be described according to its unique geographical and geophysical backgrounds. It is estimated that Sri Lanka has a shore line about 1,700 km in length. Therefore, better knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of sea level is very essential. The sea level has traditionally been measured mainly at tide gauges set up along the coast line. However, the number of tide gauge stations is few and sparse in most countries. But, with the advancements of satellite altimetry technology, it is now accepted as an alternative technique to study regional and global sea level changes. The basic concept in altimetry is the range measurements to the water surface measured from the altimeter antenna. The surface of the sea, or sea level, is continuously changing for many reasons. Here, some changes are fast whereas others occur gradually. Among them, some factors are natural causes, while others occur due to man-made activities such as the greenhouse effect. These changes can be regional or extend at a global scale. The main aim of this research was to examine the trends in sea level rise around the Sri Lankan coastline using two decades of satellite altimetry data from 1993 to 2012. The computed sea level rise trends around Sri Lanka is around 2.5 to 3 mm per year, with a variance of +/- 0.6 mm accuracy. The obtained trend of sea level rise from the altimetry data was validated with tide gauge data in Colombo, and found to be highly correlated, with a correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.93 for annual mean sea level. This study confirms that satellite altimetry can be successfully used to investigate the long term sea level trend studies, particularly in the absence of long term tide data.
How to Cite: Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K. and Kannangara, W.S., 2021. An Investigation into Sea Level Rise in Sri Lankan Waters with Satellite Altimetry

Corrected version of this article has been publshed under the section \"Corrigendum\" in the same issue on 15th October

. Journal of Geospatial Surveying, 1(2), pp.14–22. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jgs.v1i2.30
Published on 01 Oct 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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