DUACS DT2018: 25 years of reprocessed sea level altimetry products
For more than 20 years, the multi-satellite Data Unification and Altimeter Combination System (DUACS) has been providing near-real-time (NRT) and delayed-time (DT) altimetry products. DUACS datasets range from along-track measurements to multi-mission sea level anomaly (SLA) and absolute dynamic topography (ADT) maps. The DUACS DT2018 ensemble of products is the most recent and major release. For this, 25 years of altimeter data have been reprocessed and are available through the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Several changes were implemented in DT2018 processing in order to improve the product quality. New altimetry standards and geophysical corrections were used, data selection was refined and optimal interpolation (OI) parameters were reviewed for global and regional map generation. This paper describes the extensive assessment of DT2018 reprocessing. The error budget associated with DT2018 products at global and regional scales was defined and improvements on the previous version were quantified (DT2014; Pujol et al., 2016). DT2018 mesoscale errors were estimated using independent and in situ measurements. They have been reduced by nearly 3 % to 4 % for global and regional products compared to DT2014. This reduction is even greater in coastal areas (up to 10 %) where it is directly linked to the geophysical corrections applied to DT2018 processing. The conclusions are very similar concerning geostrophic currents, for which error was globally reduced by around 5 % and as much as 10 % in coastal areas.