Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Geological Sciences

Publication Date



Previous studies have estimated the sea level rise (SLR) at various locations on the west coast of the USA and Vancouver Island in Canada. Here, we construct an entire SLR profile from Vancouver Island in the Pacific Northwest to San Diego in Southern California. First, we process global navigation satellite system (GNSS) measurements at 405 stations blanketing the whole coast to generate a profile of vertical land motion (VLM) known to bias century-long tide gauge (TG) measurements recording relative SLR (RSLR). We are then able to estimate the absolute SLR (ASLR) by correcting the SLR with the VLM. Our study emphasizes the relationship between the various tectonic movements (i.e., the Cascadia subduction zone, the San Andreas strike-slip fault system) along the Pacific coast which renders it difficult to accurately estimate the SLR. That is why we precisely model the stochastic noise of both GNSS and tide gauge time series using a combination of various models and information criterions (ICs). We also use the latest altimetry products and sea surface height (SSH) to compare it with ASLR at the same location as the TGs. This study supports previous analysis that the power law + white noise and generalized Gauss–Markov + white noise models are the best stochastic noise models for the GNSS time series. The new coastal profile confirms the large variability of VLM estimates in the Pacific Northwest around the Cascadia subduction zone in agreement with previous studies, and a similar result when the San Andreas fault comes onshore in Central California (San Francisco Bay). Negative RSLR values are mostly located in the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver Island and Olympic Peninsula). We also observe a much bigger variation (about 90–150%) of the ASLR in the Pacific Northwest which is predominantly due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). Moreover, the comparison between the ASLR and the SSH estimates shows similarities in the center of the studied area (South Washington, Oregon planes, and some parts of Southern California) where the tectonic activity does not significantly influence the TG measurements. Finally, the twentieth-century satellite geocentric ocean height rates show a global mean of 1.5 to 1.9 mm/yr. Our estimates based on ASLR and SSH are within this interval.


This article was originally published open access in Remote Sensing. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


Remote Sensing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


© 2022 by the authors.