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Simulated SWOT Sea Surface Height products

Contents: Simulated SWOT Sea Surface Height products KaRIn and Nadir.

DOI: 10.24400/527896/a01-2021.006   -  more metadata

Description: The SWOT Sea Surface Height simulated products contain Level-2 Low Rate (LR) data (L2_LR_SSH) designed for ocean surfaces. Two phases have been simulated: the CalVal phase which is at 1 day repetitive orbit and the Science phase which is at 21 days repetitive orbit. For each phase, both KaRin and Nadir measurements are provided. The provided Sea Surface Heights are calculated with 2 models: the Mercator Océan GLORYS 12v1 model (GLORYS - Mercator Ocean ( and the MITgcm LLC4320 model (ECCO Project´s 1/48° MITgcm Simulation (
Other geophysical variables are given in the files as well as simulated fields estimated with the CNES/JPL simulator with the reference Gaultier, L., Ubelmann, C., & Fu, L. (2016). The Challenge of Using Future SWOT Data for Oceanic Field Reconstruction, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology33(1), 119-126,

For the KaRIn products, the following variables are filled (the others are at default values): 

  • ssh_karin (= GLORYS simulated+ Errors simulated),
  • ssha_karin (= ssh_karin - mean of GLORYS maps over the period),
  • ssh_karin_2 (= ssh_karin),
  • ssha_karin_2 (= ssha_karin),
  • ssha_karin_qual,
  • distance_to_coast,
  • ancillary_surface_classification_flag,
  • dynamic_ice_flag,
  • cross_track_distance,
  • mean_sea_surface_cnescls,
  • mean_sea_surface_cnescls_uncert,
  • geoid,
  • depth_or_elevation,
  • internal_tide_hret (only for GLORYS),
  • internal_tide_sol2 (only for GLORYS),
  • ocean_tide_fes (only for MITgcm),
  • dac (only for MITgcm),
  • ice_conc.

The following variables are simulated by the CNES/JPL Simulator : 

  • simulated_true_ssh_karin (ssh_karin - Errors simulated),
  • simulated_error_baseline_dilation,
  • simulated_error_timing,
  • simulated_error_roll,
  • simulated_error_phase,
  • simulated_error_orbital,
  • simulated_error_karin.

Use: geophysical studies, oceanography, may be of limited use over other surfaces. Studies performing simulation measurements.

Geographic coverage: Global. The data from the KaRIn swath are spanning 60km on both sides of nadir with a nadir gap. All the variables are given on a swath-aligned 2x2 km2 grid and sea surface Height on a 250x250 m2 native grid. 

Data access service: download here. Note that these products are also distributed by PODAAC/JPL here.

Condition of use: No condition is required to get access to the data

Format: NetCDF

User manual:  SWOT product description

Copyright: 2011-2012 and 2014-2015 Cnes

Product Phase Satellite pass Access service  Data period Data used File weight
Simulated SWOT product
Mercator Océan GLORYS
Science KaRIn From 2014/04/12 to 2015/12/31 one pass per file <14Mb
Nadir <270Kb
CalVal KaRIn <14Mb
Nadir <270Kb
Simulated SWOT product
MITgcm LLC4320
Science KaRin From 2011/11/13 to 2012/11/12 <14Mb
Nadir <270Kb
CalVal Karin <14Mb
Nadir <270Kb
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