Water Level

Deviations of sea surface height from an arbitrary reference level. Because this reference level varies from site to site, these water levels cannot be directly compared between two locations to investigate changes in surface height without first subtracting their respective mean sea levels. Ocean surface topography can vary as great as two meters and is influenced by ocean circulation, ocean temperature, salinity, wind, and other factors. As trade winds weaken in winter, Hawaiʻi's average sea surface height increases.