Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
23 Jun 2009
 | 23 Jun 2009

A survey of European sea level infrastructure

P. L. Woodworth, L. J. Rickards, and B. Pérez

Abstract. This paper summaries findings from a survey of European sea level infrastructure (tide gauges, telemetry methods, ancillary information) conducted at the end of 2008 on behalf of the Tsunami Risk ANd Strategies For the European Region (TRANSFER), Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (NEAMTWS), European Sea Level Service (ESEAS) and Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS) projects and programmes. Approximately 478 strategic tide gauges were found to be operational at this time, of which about three-quarters have near-real time data telemetry of various kinds. Around half of the gauges take part in real-time international data exchange. The NEAMTWS network can be considered to be in good shape in that most of its sites for which a gauge exists will be capable of meeting required standards in the near future. On the other hand, NEAMTWS (and the European and North African network in general) contains major gaps along the North African coastline and on European Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts which require new installations. The paper also summaries standards for the various sea level programmes, and reviews existing European infrastructure in the form of data centres and web sites.