Analysis of the sea level change in New Zealand

Robert Tenzer, V. Gladkikh

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We analyse the sea level change in New Zealand using tide-gauge records available for over a century. The least-squares linear regression analysis is applied to estimate the linear and acceleration trends in (annual) mean sea level (MSL) data from tide gauges (TGs) in Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton and Dunedin. The results reveal that the linear trends in relative sea level at these four TGs are between 1.2 mm/year (TG Dunedin) and 2.1 mm/year (TG Wellington). The relative sea level trend in New Zealand over the last century is estimated to be 1.7±0.1 mm/year. The relative sea level trends are further corrected for the vertical land motions in order to assess the “absolute” sea level rise in New Zealand. The vertical land motions are investigated throughout New Zealand based on the analysis of GPS time series at 101 permanent sites. The GPS solutions are aligned to the ITRF2000 reference frame. The prevailing pattern of vertical motions in New Zealand is dominated by tectonic subsidence in the lower North Island, while the largest tectonic uplift is detected across the central Southern Alps in the South Island. The estimated rates of absolute sea level rise at the four TGs (co-located with GPS) are between 0.4 mm/year (TG Wellington) and 1.8 mm/year (TG Lyttelton). Based on these estimates, the absolute sea level in New Zealand raised over the last century at an average rate of 1.1±0.3 mm/year.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarth on the Edge
Subtitle of host publicationScience for a Sustainable Planet - IAG General Assembly, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9783642372216
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Association of Geodesy Symposia, IAG 2011 - , Austria
Duration: 28 Jun 20112 Jul 2011


ConferenceInternational Association of Geodesy Symposia, IAG 2011


  • GPS
  • Sea level rise
  • Tide-gauge records
  • Vertical land motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Geophysics


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