New permanent tide gauge in Makemo - French Polynesia

SHOM deployed a new tide gauge observatory in October 2013 in Makemo, in the center of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. The station will provide sea level measurements, improve the tsunami warning system and monitor mean sea level in French Polynesia over the long term. The new station strengthens the partnership between the University of French Polynesia (UPF), SHOM and the General Delegation of the Overseas Territories. The water level measurements are available on the REFMAR portal.


Makemo Tide gauge - Tuamotu - French Polynesia (Photo credits SHOM - Julian Simon, October 2013)

Makemo Tide gauge - Tuamotu - French Polynesia (Photo credits SHOM - Julian Simon, October 2013)



The tide gauge observatory in Makemo in the South Pacific Ocean (see map below) was installed by SHOM technical personnel. The observatory consists of a tide staff, a Vega Vegapuls62 radar sensor and a pressure sensor to duplicate observations during a tsunami. A logger transmits data in near real time via a Yagi antenna to GOES satellites. The data are then sent to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii and the National Meteorological Services. To complete the system, a GNSS antenna (GPS) was installed in a beam on the roof to study the vertical movements of the site and be able to calculate the absolute and relative sea level movements for the site.

Réseaux de marégraphes en Polynésie française (DéGéOM-UPF-SHOM-CEA-UHSLC). Copyright SHOM, reproduction interdite, ne pas utiliser pour la navigation. Cliquer sur la carte pour l'agrandir.


6th DéGéOM - UPF - SHOM tide gauge:

This brings to 6 the number of tide gauges in the DéGéOM - UPF - SHOM network operated in French Polynesia in partnership with the local coastal authorities.

This partnership establishes and maintains a national network of modern tide gauges that measure sea level continuously on the French coast. The tide gauges also publish data for the users of the sea in near-real-time (raw data) and time-delayed (validated data).

This new facility strengthens the partnership between the UPF, SHOM and DéGéOM. The Makemo tide gauge measurements can be viewed and downloaded on the REFMAR portal.


Why observe the sea level?

Measuring water levels is important for many reasons, including:

  • providing data to the national tsunami warning center,
  • monitoring the rise in mean sea level to support the French plan for adapting to climate change (PNACC),
  • safe navigation at the port entrances,
  • improving tidal predictions and hydrodynamic models,
  • calibrating satellite altimetry measurements,
  • providing valuable information for integrated coastal management (coastline, habitats,),
  • statistical and historical studies of extreme levels and storm surges,
  • forecasting information for coastal oceanography,
  • etc.




To fin out more:

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