Satellite altimetry has been one of the most important implements for physical oceanographers. The conventional altimeter is best performed over open ocean surface, yet there are many attempts to exploit the potential of altimetry in coastal zone in the last decade. To achieve a high performance for coastal altimetry is a multi-fold effort: the more sophisticated instrument concepts, the smarter onboard trackers, the more expert data editing criteria, the more specific retracking algorithms, the more advanced error correction methods, etc. In this chapter, each of the above aspects is described in detail, and some representative works in the altimetry community are reviewed. Particularly, the coastal altimetry offshore Hong Kong is addressed as a case study to demonstrate the potential of the new technology. In the conclusive session, some prospects for the coastal oceanography community are presented.
Part of the book: Estuaries and Coastal Zones