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Upper Ocean patters in the Southern coast of Chile from ENVISAT ASAR and ERS-2 SAR imagery

Cristina Rodriguez-Benito(1), Pablo Vicente-Garcia(1) and Christian Haag(1)

(1) Mariscope Chilena, C/EgaƱa 425, 00000 Puerto Montt, Chile


Radar imagery has been integrated to monitor the oceanic upper layer in the Southern region of Chile. During the monitoring of algal blooms since 2003, several surface patterns have been observed through MERIS and AATSR visible images from the ENVISAT satellite. Some patterns detected by infrared data have demonstrated the location of thermal fronts, associated to strong changes of salinity and freshwater input from the high amount of rivers in this area of Patagonia. It has been detected an accumulation of suspended particles and phytoplankton in these patters, corresponding to the location of a first stages of the development of algal blooms. Combining visible data with ENVISAT ASAR and ERS-2, it has been confirmed and explained some physical oceanography aspects of the marine dynamic even under cloud cover conditions. More than 100 in situ currents measurements have been carried out and some surface data has been correlated with radar observations from the same period. Through this approach it is possible to develop a risk assessment for the aquaculture industry, detecting and monitoring critical areas.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry