Geodetic observation of sea-level change and crustal deformation in the Baltic Sea region

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Based on tide gauge observations spanning almost 200 years, homogeneous time series of the mean relative sea level were derived for nine sites at the southern coast of the Baltic Sea. Our regionally concentrated data were complemented by long-term relative sea-level records retrieved from the data base of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL). From these records relative sea-level change rates were derived at 51 tide gauge stations for the period between 1908 and 2007. A minimum observation time of 60 years is required for the determination of reliable sea-level rates. At present, no anthropogenic acceleration in sea-level rise is detected in the tide gauge observations in the southern Baltic. The spatial variation of the relative sea-level rates reflects the fingerprint of GIA-induced crustal uplift. Time series of extreme sea levels were also inferred from the tide gauge records. They were complemented by water level information from historic storm surge marks preserved along the German Baltic coast. Based on this combined dataset the incidence and spatial variation of extreme sea levels induced by storm surges were analysed yielding important information for hazard assessments. Permanent GPS observations were used to determine recent crustal deformation rates for 44 stations in the Baltic Sea region. The GPS derived height change rates were applied to reduce the relative sea-level changes observed by tide gauges yielding an estimate for the eustatic sea-level change. For 13 tide gauge-GPS colocation sites a mean eustatic sea-level trend of 1.3 mm/a was derived for the last 100 years.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth
Issue number53-54
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2011

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Scopus 84870512780


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