Historical tide measurements are among the oldest direct observations which provide relevant information regarding the long-term evolution of mean sea-level. In many countries, systematic sea level observations have been carried out since the early to mid-1800s. Despite this rich historical legacy, documents with these records are hidden in archive centers. Most of these analog documents are not adequately inventoried. There can be considerable benefit in rescuing these data before they may be lost. As quoted by Ed Hawkins, working on weather data rescue : “The fastest way to collect new weather observations is by looking back in time !".
Recovery of historical sea level measurements can contribute to assessment of mean sea level trends on multi-decadal to secular timescales. In addition, they are also useful for many other scientific applications such as characterization of changes in storminess over time, estimation of river flow, study of the stability of tidal constituents, or evolution of tidal range in estuarine areas. Historical observations can be of use for coastal management via the identification and the reconstruction of past extreme events, allowing for improvement in estimation and prediction of extreme water levels.
Individual projects (single station efforts) and some concerted national campaigns have been carried out in recent years to rescue or inventory historical sea-level data. These efforts have responded to appeals by the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS). At a joint meeting between the Tides, Water Level and Currents Working Group (TWCWG) of the IHO and the GLOSS Group of Experts from 11-13 April 2019, Busan (Republic of Korea), it was agreed to organize an international workshop on "Sea Level Data Archaeology". The main objective is to bring together experts concerned with sea level data rescue activities to explore the potential for a more sustained programmatic approach to cooperation at the international level.
The workshop is convened under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and its Global Sea Level Observing System. The IHO TWCWG is a co-sponsor of the workshop.
Sessional topics will include :
The structure of the Workshop will consist of plenary sessions, panel discussions and a poster session. Abstracts for presentations (oral or poster) should be sent by no later than 1 February 2020.
Sea level scientists, engineers, hydrographers, experts in climate data rescue, historians, impacted users.
Advanced registration is needed to attend the Workshop. There is no registration or attendance fee. Please register at workshop website (see below under “Further Information”).
More information about the program of the Workshop, accommodation options, and visa requirements will be made available at :
and from Thorkild Aarup, Technical Secretary of GLOSS
Read the complete PDF announcement :