Linear and non-linear sea-level variations in the Adriatic Sea from tide gauge records (1872-2012)

Gaia Galassi, Giorgio Spada


We have analyzed tide gauge data from the Adriatic Sea in order to assess the secular sea-level trend, its acceleration and the existence of possible cyclic variation. Analyzing the sea-level stack of all Adriatic tide gauges, we have obtained a trend of (1.25±0.04) mm yr-1, in agreement with that observed for the last century in the Mediterranean Sea, and an acceleration that is negligibile compared to the average global values. By means of the Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition technique, we have evidenced an energetic oscillation with a period of ∼20 years that we relate with the recurrence of opposite phases in the Atlantic Multi–decadal Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation indices. We suggest that anomalously high sea-level values observed at all the Adriatic tide gauges during 2010 and 2011 can be explained by the rising phase of this 20 years cycle.


Sea–level rise; Tide gauge observations; EEMD; Adriatic Sea; Atlantic modes

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X