The UK national network of sea level gauges was established after violent storms in the North Sea in 1953 resulted in serious flooding.
The network provides high quality sea level information to provide warning of possible flooding of coastal locations around the British Isles.
These data are also required for research into coastal processes, storm surge behaviour and sea level rise. There are several types of tide gauge that have been developed over time with advancing technology. The interactive diagram explains how some of them work.
Tide gauge technology has advanced considerably over the last few decades. Information on the latest instrumentation can be found here.