Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS)

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GLOSS Stations

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The Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS) was established by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in 1985 to establish a well-designed, high-quality in situ sea level observing network to support a broad research and operational user base.

GLOSS provides oversight and coordination for global and regional sea level networks that supports the oceanographic and climate research communities based on feedback and direction from within these communities. GLOSS remains under the auspices of the IOC and is one of the observing components under the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)/ IOC Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM).

GLOSS contributes to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), particularly its climate, coastal and operational service modules, through the progressive development of the sea level measurement network, data exchange and collection systems, and preparation of sea level products for various user groups.

For a complete description of the GLOSS program, see the latest GLOSS Implementation Plan.

The GLOSS Core Network (GCN)

The backbone of the global tide gauge network is the GLOSS Core Network (GCN), a global set of 300 tide gauge stations that provide optimal sampling of the global ocean. GCN gauges were allocated to each island or group of islands at intervals not closer than 500 km, and along continental coasts at intervals generally not less than 1000 km. Preference was given to islands in order to maximize exposure to the open ocean.

Maps showing the status of the data streams from each GCN station can be found on the PSMSL website here: status maps.

A list of the GCN stations can be found here, and the locations of the current GCN are shown in the figure below. The various GLOSS data centers provide different types of data for each station with different resolutions and levels of quality-control. A good place to start is the GLOSS Station Handbook, where clicking on a particular station and following the link to the station page will provide links to the different time series available for that station.

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The GLOSS Core Network (GCN) [defined as GLOSS 2010]

Role of SONEL

SONEL is the dedicated center for Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data at or near tide gauge stations. This data is essential for studies of sea level change, as it provides information about how the tide gauge is moving in three-dimensional space. The vertical movement of the gauge will register as local sea level change, but these changes are not related to the height of the ocean surface. SONEL is supported by the University of La Rochelle and the French CNRS/INSU institute. SONEL provides information about the status of GNSS stations at or nearby tide gauges through a web-based monitoring facility. It assembles, archives, and distributes GNSS observations and metadata from GLOSS and non-GLOSS tide gauge sites from around the world. The data can be accessed through the web-based facility, as well as anonymous FTP server.

Other data centers

GLOSS is a global endeavor requiring the coordinated participation of an international group of agencies. In addition to SONEL, the following data centers provide complimentary GLOSS data streams while helping to shape the future of the global in situ sea level observing network. In general, GLOSS data centers are associated with scientists involved with sea level research, which helps to maximize the quality of GLOSS datasets.

Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL)

Established in 1933, the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) has been responsible for the collection, publication, analysis and interpretation of sea level data from the global network of tide gauges. It is based in Liverpool at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), which is a component of the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The PSMSL archive is comprised of ‘delayed-mode’ monthly mean sea level values most suitable for studies of long-term sea-level change, and most studies of 20th century global sea level rise are based on the PSMSL data set.

University of Hawaii Sea Level Center (UHSLC)

The UHSLC operates the GLOSS Fast-Delivery Center, which is responsible for assembling and distributing a version of GLOSS sea level data that has undergone preliminary quality control by Member Nations and includes supporting metadata information. “Fast-Delivery” implies posting of the data within 1-2 months. The UHSLC provides Fast-Delivery quality control services for Member States that do not have that capability. The Joint Archive for Sea Level (JASL) hosted by the UHSLC acquires hourly datasets from GLOSS and non-GLOSS tide gauges from around the world that have received a final quality assessment from the data originators. JASL provides an independent check of the data, primarily to identify any remaining outliers, timing issues, or datum shifts. Any quality issues with the data are brought to the attention of the data originators for reconciliation. JASL then assembles a single hourly time series for each station, or a series of sub-records if datum changes occur over time. The JASL dataset therefore represents a “data product”, as problematic data points are not simply flagged and left in the records as they are by BODC for the GLOSS Delayed Mode Dataset, but changes to the data actually are implemented by JASL analysts (e.g., level adjustments, timing shifts, outlier removal). These changes are documented in the metadata information.

British Oceanographic Data Center (BODC)

The GLOSS Delayed Mode Data Centre is operated by the BODC in collaboration with PSMSL. It has the responsibility for assembling, quality controlling and distributing the “final” version of GLOSS sea-level data sets, as well as all supporting metadata information. The Delayed Mode Centre handles hourly (or sub-hourly) values, together with ancillary variables (e.g. atmospheric pressure) where these are available, from the GCN, GLOSS-LTT, and GLOSS-OC databases. PSMSL generally relies on Member Nations to provide the final version of the monthly time series with all quality control assessments applied and documented. The Delayed Mode Centre will, on request from member nations, form and provide the PSMSL with monthly averages based on the final data sets received.

IOC Sea Level Station Monitoring Facility

The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ, Belgium) hosts a Sea-Level Station Monitoring Facility that includes GLOSS Core stations. VLIZ provides a web-based global sea-level station monitoring service for viewing sea-level data received in real-time from different network operators primarily via the GTS, but also through other communications channels. The service provides information about the operational status of GLOSS stations through quick inspection of the raw data stream. The sea-level station monitoring system also runs a web-service for direct data access. The sea-level station catalogue system developed and maintained at VLIZ links sea-level station metadata repositories.

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GPS au marégraphe de Saint Jean-de-Luz

In addition to its national scope with its specific aims associated with a national research observation infrastructure on sea level, SONEL plays the role of GNSS at tide gauge data assembly centre for the GLOSS programme since 2011 (see GLOSS Implementation Plan - 2012, pp. 23). SONEL is also the primary data centre for the GPS Tide Gauge Benchmark Monitoring (TIGA) pilot project, which has turned into a working group of the International GNSS Service (IGS) in 2010.

Consequently, SONEL provides information about the status of GNSS stations at or nearby tide gauges around the globe through a web-based monitoring facility (e.g., dynamic maps). It assembles, archives, and distributes GNSS observation and metadata from permanent stations at or near tide gauges distributed worldwide. In the latest implementation plan, GLOSS relies on TIGA (IGS) and SONEL for the assembling, processing and distribution of GNSS data at tide gauges. GLOSS works with TIGA (IGS) to define the useful sea-level oriented products of GNSS analyses and its most appropriate standards and formats for distribution to the sea-level community, concise while informative and complete.

Key to this endeavor will be the maintenance of survey records linking the GNSS antenna to the tide gauge benchmark. Towards this aim, SONEL has started coordinating with the PSMSL to make this important metadata available for all GLOSS stations (Click on the image for further information).

All tide gauge operators, whether associated with GLOSS or not, are welcome to have their GNSS (GPS) data and metadata included in the SONEL data center facility for ensuring state-of-the-art processing (e.g., by the TIGA data analysis centres). GLOSS national contacts have the responsibility to ensure that the GLOSS requirements are fulfilled at the stations for which the country has committed. The requirements include a GNSS antenna located as close to the gauge as possible (IOC Manuals & Guides, No. 14 (IV), pp. 52).

- First Progress Report on the GNSS at Tide Gauge Activities: SONEL Data Holdings & Tools to access the data, presented at the XIIIth GLOSS group of experts meeting, hosted by the PSMSL, Liverpool (United Kingdom), 30 October to 1st November 2013.

- Second Progress Report on the GNSS at Tide Gauge Activities: SONEL Data Holdings & Tools to access the data, presented at the XIVth GLOSS group of experts meeting, hosted by the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa (India), 21-23 October 2015.

- Third Progress Report on the GNSS at Tide Gauge Activities: SONEL Data Holdings & Tools to access the data, presented at the XVth GLOSS group of experts meeting, hosted by the University of Columbia, New York (USA), 8-9 July 2017.

Below is a list of the GNSS data providers ordered by country. For each provider, it gives the acronym of the associated GNSS stations. Note that the work is under progress to have a complete list. However, do not hesitate to contact us to keep it updated.
E-mail: sonel@sonel.org

COUNTRY (60)     PROVIDER (178) ACRONYM GNSS stations (746)    
National Resources Canada NRCan  (28)
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS  (15)
Surveying and Mapping Authority of the Republic of Slovenia SMARS  (1)
Instituto Geografico Nacional Tommy Guardia IGNTG  (1)
Lands Department - Hong-Kong LD-HK  (9)
Singapore Land Authority SLA  (5)
ARG Instituto Geografica Nacional de la Republica Argentina IGNRA  (11)
ARG Instituto Nacional de Prevención Sísmica INPRES  (1)
ARG Estacion Astronomica Rio Grande EARG  (3)
AUS Geoscience Australia GA  (45)
AUS Department of Environment & Primary Industries DEPI  (3)
AUS LANDGATE LANDGATE  (5)
AUS Department Infrastructure, Planning & Logistics DIPL  (2)
AUS IPS Radio and Space Services - Australia Bureau of Meteorology IPS  (1)
AUS Australian Surveying & Land Information Group AUSLIG  (1)
AUS Curtin University Curtin University  (1)
BEL Royal Observatory of Belgium ROB  (1)
BOL INSTITUTO GEOGRAFICO MILITAR DE BOLIVIA IGM-Bo  (1)
BRA Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística IBGE  (29)
BRA Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais INPE  (1)
BRB Coastal Zone Management Unit CZMU  (2)
CAN Geological Survey of Canada GSC  (5)
CAN SERVICE NOVA SCOTIA SNS  (4)
CAN Dept. Internal Services ISD  (1)
CHE Swiss Federal Office of Topography SWISSTOPO  (1)
CHL Departamento de Geofísica, Centro Sismologico Nacional, Univ. de Chile DGF - CSN  (1)
CHL Center for Space Studies CEC  (2)
CHL Universidad de Concepcion UdeC  (1)
COL Instituto Geografico Agustin Codazzi IGAC  (5)
COL Servicio Geologico Colombiano SGC  (1)
CPV Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia e Geofisica INMG  (1)
CYM Cayman Land Info CAYMAN  (1)
DEU Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ  (20)
DEU Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde BAFG  (15)
DEU Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut DGFI  (2)
DEU Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie BKG  (21)
DNK DTU Space National Space Institute DTU-Space  (10)
DOM Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña UNPHU  (3)
ECU Instituto Geografico Militar Ecuador IGM_EC  (2)
EGY Centre d'Etudes Alexandrines CEAlex  (2)
ESP Instituto Geografico Nacional IGNE  (22)
ESP Puertos del Estado PDE  (2)
ESP Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia IEO  (1)
ESP Canary GNSS Centre CGC  (8)
ESP Instituto de Estadística y Cartografía de Andalucía IECA  (6)
ESP Junta de Castilla y Leon ITACYL  (1)
ESP Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia GFA  (1)
ESP Geodetic Department Universtidad de Cantabria UC  (1)
FIN Finnish Geodetic Institute FGI  (5)
FRA Institut Géographique National IGN  (24)
FRA Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine SHOM  (2)
FRA Laboratoire d'Etudes en Geophysique et Oceanographie Spatiale LEGOS  (5)
FRA Direction des Infrastructures, de la Topographie et des Transports Terrestres DITTT  (5)
FRA Institut polaire français Paul Emile Victor IPEV  (1)
FRA Port Autonome de Nantes - Saint-Nazaire PANSN  (1)
FRA Laboratoire de Géologie de l’Ecole normale supérieure GEOL ENS  (3)
FRA Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris IPGP  (3)
FRA Centre National d"Etudes Spatiales CNES  (9)
FRA Centre d'Etudes Techniques Maritimes et Fluviales CETMEF  (7)
FRA Réseau National GPS permanent RENAG  (1)
FRA ORPHEON ORPHEON  (3)
FRA SONEL-LIENSs SONEL  (14)
FRA ACTIPLAN SARL ACTIPLAN  (3)
FRA Collectivité de Saint-Martin COM SAINT MARTIN  (1)
FRA SATINFO Réseau GNSS SAT-INFO  (5)
FRA EXAGONE - réseau TERIA EXAGONE  (13)
FRA GIE Coop&Tech - Réseau RTK - Groupement de Cooperatives Agricoles GIE Coop&Tech  (3)
FRA Ville de Nice Ville de Nice  (1)
FRA Grand Port Maritime du Havre HAROPA  (1)
FRA Communauté Urbaine de Dunkerque CUD  (1)
FRA Ville de Cannes - Direction des systèmes d'information Géographique Ville de Cannes  (3)
FRA Institut Francais pour la Recherche en Terres Polaires IFRTP  (1)
FRA Ecole Normale Superieure / CNRS - Laboratoire de Geologie ENS-GEOLOLOGIE  (1)
GBR NERC British Isles continuous GNSS Facility BIGF  (13)
GBR Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science BIOS  (1)
GHA Ghana Meteorological Agency GMA  (1)
GRC DEPARTMENT of GEODESY & SURVEYING DGS  (1)
GUY Service des Phares et Balises de Guyane DM-GUYANE  (1)
HRV Hydrographic Institute of the Republic of Croatia HHI  (1)
HRV State Geodetic Administration SGA  (4)
IDN National Coordination Agency for Surveys and Mapping BAKOSURTANAL  (1)
IRL Ordnance Survey Ireland OSI  (1)
IRN National Cartographic Center of I.R.IRAN NCC  (1)
ISR Survey of Israel (SOI) SOI  (2)
ITA Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Volcanologia INGV  (5)
ITA Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale ISPRA/ID
ITA Università degli Studi di Ferrara UNIFE  (1)
ITA Agenzia Spaziale Italiana ASI  (6)
ITA Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Scienze Marine CNR- ISMAR  (3)
ITA Regione Campania RC  (1)
ITA Regione Abruzzo RAbruzzo  (1)
ITA Cooperativa San Martino COOPSM  (1)
ITA e-geos S.p.A. - una societa ASI/Telespazio TPZ  (1)
ITA INAF ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY OF CAGLIARI CAO  (1)
ITA Universita' di Cagliari - Dip. Ingegneria Strutturale - Sez. Topografia DISIG-Cagliari  (1)
JPN Geospatial Information Authority of Japan GSI  (43)
JPN Electronic Navigation Research Institute ENRI  (1)
JPN Space-Time Standards Laboratory ; National Institute of Information and Communications Technology NICT  (1)
KOR National Geographic Information Institute NGII  (1)
KOR Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute KASI  (3)
KOR Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Administration KHOA  (7)
LKA Surveyor General's Office Colombo SGOC  (1)
LTU Geodetic Institute of Vilnius TU VGTU GI  (1)
LVA Latvijas ?eotelpisk?s inform?cijas a?ent?ra LGIA_LatPOS  (1)
MDV Gan Meteorological Office GANMET  (1)
MEX Instituto de Geofísica - Servicio Mareográfico Nacional - UNAM SMN-UNAM  (11)
MEX Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía INEGI  (10)
MEX Instituto Municipal de Investigación y Planeación de Ensenada IMIP  (1)
MYS Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia JUPEM  (6)
NAM Directorate of Survey and Mapping Namibia DSM-NAM  (1)
NLD Delft University of Technology TUDELFT  (7)
NOR Norwegian Mapping Authority - Kartverket NMA  (6)
NZL GNS Science GNS  (8)
NZL Land Information New Zealand LINZ  (10)
NZL University of Otago uOtago  (2)
OMN Petroleum Development Oman PDO  (1)
PER Instituto geografico del peru IGN PERU  (2)
PHL National Mapping and Resource Information Authority NAMRIA  (3)
PHL Naval Forces West NFW  (1)
PHL Mindanao State University MSU  (1)
POL ASG-EUPOS ASG-EUPOS  (2)
POL Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences SRC-PAS  (1)
PRT Space & Earth Geodetic Analysis Laboratory SEGAL  (3)
PRT Direccao de Servicos de Cartografia e Informacao Geografica DSCIG  (1)
PRT Direcao-Geral do Territorio DGT  (1)
PYF Université de la Polynesie francaise UPF  (6)
RUS SmartNet Russia SMARTNET  (1)
RUS Research Station of RAS RS-RAS  (10)
RUS Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics IPGG SB-RAS  (1)
RUS Geophysical Observatory Arti ARS  (1)
RUS Institute of Astronomy, Russian Academy of Sciences INASAN  (1)
SEN Universite Cheikh Anta Diop UCAD  (1)
SEN Direction des Travaux Geographiques et Cartographiques ANAT/DTGC  (1)
SGP Nanyang Technological University NTU  (1)
SLV Centro Nacional de Registros CNR  (1)
SWE Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute SMHI  (1)
TWN National Measurement Laboratory ; Industrial Technology Research Institute NML - ITRI  (2)
TWN National Standard Time and Frequency Telecommunication Laboratories, Chunghwa TL  (1)
TZA Tanzania Ports Authority TPA  (1)
UKR Crimean Astrophysical Observatory CRAO  (1)
URY Servicio geographico militar SGM  (2)
USA National Geodetic Survey NGS  (12)
USA University of Hawai'i Sea Level Centre UHSLC  (3)
USA UNAVCO UNAVCO  (8)
USA US Geological Survey USGS  (9)
USA University of California - Berkeley Seismological Laboratory UC-BSL  (5)
USA U.S. Naval Observatory USNO  (5)
USA U.S. Coast guard USCG  (29)
USA Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL  (54)
USA National Radio Astronomy Observatory NRAO  (5)
USA University of the Virgin Islands UVI  (2)
USA Louisiana State University - Center for GeoInformatics LSU-C4G  (3)
USA North Carolina Geodetic Survey NCGS  (5)
USA BP BP - BPEXAK  (1)
USA Plate Boundary Observatory - EarthScope PBO  (4)
USA Connecticut Department of Transportation CT-CONDOT  (1)
USA SmartNet North America SMRTNT  (8)
USA Alabama Department of Transportation - Alabama Great Seal ALDOT  (1)
USA Texas Department of Transportation TxDOT  (3)
USA Federal Aviation Administration FAA  (3)
USA University of Maryland, Baltimore County UMBC  (1)
USA Washington State Reference Network WSRN  (4)
USA NYS Spacial Reference Network NYSDOT  (1)
USA National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency NGA  (8)
USA COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC, GIS LABORATORY COA  (1)
USA CICESE Laboratorio del Nivel del Mar CICESE  (1)
USA Massachusetts Department of Transportation MassDOT  (1)
USA University of Maine at Machias UMM  (1)
USA Maine Department of Transportation MaineDOT  (1)
USA UNITED STATES AIR FORCE USAF  (1)
USA Virginia Department of Transportation VDOT  (1)
USA Loyola Spatial Systems LOYSS  (1)
USA Scripps Orbit and Permanent Array Center SOPAC  (1)
USA State of Alaska, Department of Transportation Central Region Survey Section AK-DOT  (2)
USA Pacific GPS Facility - Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology - University of Hawaii at Manoa PGF  (1)
VEN Centro de Procesamiento y Analisis GNSS SIRGAS de LUZ CPAGS-LUZ  (1)
ZAF The Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory HartRAO  (2)
ZAF National Geo-Spatial Information NGI  (7)

This graph shows the evolution of the number of Rinex files available on SONEL (per DOY) since 1990-079.

Observation stations contributing to GLOSS

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Stations françaises contribuant à GLOSS

The map on the right shows the French stations contributing to the GLOSS core network of stations, a contribution which was agreed by France when the programme was started at the beginning of the 1980s. Despite its heritage and the wealth of sea level data, the French contribution to the world programme appears relatively modest. There are numerous organisations which use the tide gauges in France as part of their missions. Nevertheless the French contribution is ambitious given the geographical extent of its territories (see map), which raises numerous technical and administrative difficulties.

Today, there is a favourable context for the participation of France in GLOSS. On one hand, SHOM became an “Etablissement Public” (Governmental Agency) in May 2007 and its mission was extended to providing support for the state’s maritime policy, which has opened up new perspectives for taking into account all water level measurement applications, both in terms of the observations and in making the data available, together with assuming the national coordination of tide gauge management based on what is already in place (SONEL, ROSAME etc.). This opening was further reinforced in 2010 by a Prime Minister instruction of 20 April 2010 (fr). On the other hand, SONEL has been acknowledged as a national research observation infrastructure (“Service d’observation”) on coastal sea level by the National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy (INSU) in 2011.

GNSS at tide gauge data assembly centre for GLOSS

In addition to its national scope with its specific aims associated with a national research observation infrastructure on coastal sea level, SONEL plays the role of GNSS at tide gauge data assembly centre for the GLOSS programme since 2011. Hence it represents one of the five global data centres of the GLOSS programme (see GLOSS Implementation Plan - 2012, pp. 23). The GNSS observational complement to tide gauge data is key to understanding sea level change and variability.

National report of France to the GLOSS group of experts

- Report of France to the VIIIth GLOSS GE Meeting, UNESCO, Paris, 13-17 October 2003.
- Report of France to the IXth GLOSS GE Meeting, UNESCO, Paris, 24-25 February 2005.
- Report of France to the Xth GLOSS GE Meeting, UNESCO, Paris, 5-8 June 2007.
- Report of France to the XIth GLOSS GE Meeting, UNESCO, Paris, 13-15 May 2009.
- Report of France to the XIIth GLOSS GE Meeting, UNESCO, Paris, 9-11 November 2011.
- Report of France to the XIIIth GLOSS GE Meeting, PSMSL, Liverpool, 30 October - 1st November 2013.
- Report of France to the XIVth GLOSS GE Meeting, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, 19 - 23 October 2015.
- Report of France to the XVth GLOSS GE Meeting, Columbia University, New York, 8-9 July 2017.