Vertical land motion and sea level change in Macaronesia

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Susana Alexandra Barbosa
da Silveira,AB
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This study addresses long-term sea level variability in Macaronesia from a holistic perspective using all available instrumental records in the region, including a dense network of GPS continuous stations, tide gauges and satellite observations. A detailed assessment of vertical movement from GPS time series underlines the influence of the complex volcano-tectonic setting of the Macaronesian islands in local uplift/subsidence. Relative sea level for the region is spatially highly variable, ranging from -1.1 to 5.1 mm yr(-1). Absolute sea level from satellite altimetry exhibits consistent trends in the Macaronesia, with a mean value of 3.0 +/- 0.5 mm yr(-1). Typically, sea level trends from tide gauge records corrected for vertical movement using the estimates from GPS time series are lower than uncorrected estimates. The agreement between satellite altimetry and tide gauge trends corrected for vertical land varies substantially from island to island. Trends derived from the combination of GPS and tide gauge observations differ by less than 1 mm yr(-1) with respect to absolute sea level trends from satellite altimetry for 56 per cent of the stations, despite the heterogeneity in length of both GPS and tide gauge series, and the influence of volcanic-tectonic processes affecting the position of some GPS stations.