Sea level anomalies are deviations from the ocean surface’s mean level. In other words, areas of higher or lower sea level relative to a long term average. These anomalies are useful proxies for cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies, which transport heat energy, salt and nutrients around the ocean. They are important features for ecologists, as many marine species depend on these eddies. They are also worth keeping an eye on among mariners; using the fast-flowing water around an eddy to one’s advantage can save considerable time and fuel.

The data presented here are courtesy of the E.U. Copernicus Marine Service. Sea level anomalies are derived by subtracting a long term mean sea surface height from the absolute dynamic topography (or current sea surface height) data, which are collected by satellite altimeters. Please see the Copernicus product page for more information.