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This learning activity uses data acquired by the TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter, a joint project of NASA and the French Space Agency, to investigate the relationship between the topography of a sea-floor feature and the topography of the overlying sea surface.

In some parts of the world sea levels are increasing, while decreasing in others, and even remain relatively flat in a few places; for more than 20 years, NASA has been tracking the global surface topography of the ocean to understand the important role it plays in our daily lives.