GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2014, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (5): 988-1000.doi: 10.11821/dlyj201405016

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Changes and trends of sea level in the Pearl River Delta in the last 50 years

HE Lei1,2, LI Guosheng1, LI Kuo3, CUI Linlin1,2, REN Huiru1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, CAAS, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2013-07-23 Revised:2013-12-03 Online:2014-05-10 Published:2014-05-10

Abstract: Low spatial resolution of tide gauge records and shortness of satellite altimetry data are the main obstacles in studying regional long sea level change. The present study proposes a reconstruction of consistent regional sea level anomalies (CRSLA) in the Pearl River Delta over the period 1959-2011 by combining satellite altimetry dataset with tide gauge records using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) and principle components analysis method. The results indicate that the reconstruction method addresses issues such as the relative shortage of satellite altimetry data and the sparse and discontinuous nature of tide gauge records, demonstrating the applicability of this technique in investigation of long-term sea level change. Moreover, the rate of regional sea level rise obtained based on CRSLA (4.08 mm/yr) indicates acceleration over recent decades. Compared with the estimation from single tide gauge, the reconstruction explains the leading characteristics of regional sea level change with a low noise level. Both river flow and El Niño-Southern Oscillation events have considerable impacts on sea level variability in the Pearl River Delta.

Key words: sea level changes, the Pearl River Delta, trends