The new Mean Dynamic Topography for the Mediterranean Sea (SMDT-MED-2014) has been produced as a combined effort by SOCIB, CLS, OGS and IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB).

Mediterranean Sea Mean Dynamic Topography

The new Mean Dynamic Topography benefits from the use of multi-platform observing systems, extended datasets and refined processing. The updated dataset consists of:

  • drifting buoy velocities provided by OGS,
  • altimetry data provided by CLS,
  • hydrological profiles provided by EN3, IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), SOCIB and IEO,
  • numerical model  output provided by INGV.

The SMDT-MED-2014 is of significant scientific interest since semi-enclosed Seas such as the Mediterranean, are characterized by smaller spatial scales than in the open ocean, and thus represent challenging regions for the use of altimetry data. More specifically, this new MDT provides an improved description of the main currents and semi-permanent structures of the Mediterranean Sea, with an improved description of major currents as the Liguro-Provençal Current, or known structures as the Bonifacio gyre, compared to the previous SMDT07 solution.

This new MDT  therefore constitutes an essential tool to characterise the state and variability of the Mediterranean Sea from Sea-Level Anomaly (SLA) data. It will also improve the assimilation of SLA into operational forecasting systems in the Mediterranean.

Data access


For specific information on the algorithm  see:

Rio, M.-H., A. Pascual, P.-M. Poulain, M. Menna, B. Barceló, and J. Tintoré : Computation of a new mean dynamic topography for the Mediterranean Sea from model outputs, altimeter measurements and oceanographic in situ data. Ocean Science, 10, 731-744 , 2014. 
doi: 10.5194/os-10-731-2014