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An assessment of the usefulness of SAR images to help better locating the Brazil Current surface inshore front

João A. Lorenzzetti(1), Milton Kampel(1), Gutemberg B. França(2) and Angelo Sartori(3)

(1) National Space Research Institute, Av. Astronautas 1758, 12227-010, São José dos Campos, Brazil
(2) Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Ilha do Fundão, 21941-901, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
(3) Research and Development Center, Petrobras, Ilha do Fundão, 21949-900, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The most conspicuous physical feature of the SE continental shelf, slope and adjacent deep waters of the Brazilian coast is the Brazil Current (BC). Particularly between 20 and 24oS strong meandering of BC inshore front can develop which for times generates frontal eddies. Two of these mesoscale frontal eddies are frequently observed at Cabo de São Tomé and at Cabo Frio. Ongoing efforts are being made to implement an operational oceanic model capable of forecasting the 3D mesoscale circulation for the area. One of the most important and difficult tasks of the modeling has been to assimilate in situ and satellite data into the initialization process. One key variable in this process is the position of the BC front. Frequent cloud cover over the region is, however, a major problem for extracting this information from SST IR data. In this paper we analyze the usefulness of SAR images of the region to help better locate the BC inshore zone complementing the thermal infrared/microwave SST maps of the region. BC frontal positions extracted from SAR images are compared to SST time composites of GOES IR images and from OSTIA SST maps.


Workshop presentation

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