Preliminary Analysis on the GOCE Contribution to the Mediterranean Sea Circulation
Gilardoni, Maddalena1; Menna, Milena2; Poulain, Pierre Marie2; Reguzzoni, Mirko1
1DICA, Politecnico di Milano, ITALY; 2OGS, ITALY

One of the main objectives of the ESA Gravity field and Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) is to investigate oceanic circulation by means of high accuracy satellite gravity observations.
In this framework the Mediterranean Sea is certainly a complicated test area due to the complex shape and the relative small size of this sea. The study of the Mediterranean geostrophic circulation is particularly tangled and requires the knowledge of a geoid with extremely high resolution and accuracy. In the present work a combination of the EGM2008 global model, containing the high frequencies of the gravitational field, and a GOCE-derived solution is used in connection with the CNES-CLS11 mean sea surface to estimate the geodetic mean dynamic topography (MDT).
In order to assess the accuracy of the GOCE-derived products for oceanographic purposes, the geodetic MDT is compared with the synthetic MDT computed from independent drifter observations and satellite-derived sea surface height data. The GOCE solution well describes the mean circulation patterns and the main dynamical features improving the EGM2008 solution.