IGFS 2014 pp 111-121 | Cite as

The DTU13 MSS (Mean Sea Surface) and MDT (Mean Dynamic Topography) from 20 Years of Satellite Altimetry

  • Ole AndersenEmail author
  • Per Knudsen
  • Lars Stenseng
Part of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia book series (IAG SYMPOSIA, volume 144)


The DTU13MSS is the latest release of the global high resolution mean sea surface (MSS) from DTU Space. The new MSS is based on multi-mission satellite altimetry from 10 different satellites. Three major advances have been made in order to release the new MSS. The time series have been extended to 20 years from 17 years used for DTU10MSS creating the first multi-decadal MSS. Secondly, the DTU13MSS ingest Cryosat-2 LRM and SAR data as well as 1 year of Jason-1 geodetic mission as part as it end-of-life mission between May 2012 and June 2013. Finally, the availability of Cryosat-2 SAR altimetry enables the determination of sea level in leads in the ice, which has enabled us to derive an accurate MSS all the way to 88°N.

With the availability to determine the geoid with higher accuracy than ever before due to the launch of the GRACE and GOCE satellites, is hence become possible to derive a satellite only mean dynamic topography (MDT) from the difference between the MSS and the geoid. Here the DTU13MSS and DTU13MDT are presented and we demonstrate how these can be used to derive realistic geostrophic currents in the world’s ocean comparable to oceanographic derived MDT.


Satellite altimetry Mean sea surface Mean dynamic topography 



The authors would like to thank the space agencies for the EO missions. Part of the work is a contribution to the ESA supported Sea level CCI and ESA supported sequel of GUT projects.

Data Availability

The DTU13MSS and DTU13MDT are both available for free download via MSS and MDT models are available in resolution ranging from 1 min to 1/8° along with other models in the suite of DTU high resolution geophysical model. Various formats as well as software can be downloaded from the site.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Space Institute, Technical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark

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