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Routine high resolution observation of selected major surface currents from space

Fabrice Collard(1), Celine Danilo(1), Bertrand Chapron(2), Jordi Isern-Fontanet(2), Johnny Johannessen(3) and Björn Backeberg(4)

(1) BOOST Technologies, 115, rue Claude CHAPPE, 29280 Plouzané, France
(2) IFREMER, Centre de Brest, 29280 Plouzané, France
(3) NERSC, Edvard Griegsvei 3a, N-5059 Bergen, Norway
(4) Univ. of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

Abstract

To demonstrate the potential of SAR Doppler shift for high resolution surface current estimation, a series of supersites well known for their strong surface currents as well as their characteristic thermal signals have been included in the ENVISAT background mission since summer 2007. As a result, a routine monitoring of Agulhas and Gulfstream regions could become a reality. Despite the lack of in-situ surface current validation datasets, performance estimation are presented based on local knowledge, altimetric sea level anomaly maps and high resolution SST and ocean color fields. Through this synergetic approach, we are now getting confidence that the Doppler shift is providing quantitative signal of surface current. This is further supported by comparison with numerical ocean model outputs. However, lack of proper validation datasets limits the possibilities for quantitative model validation and assimilation, although qualitative assessments of the surface current from ocean models are shown to be feasible.

 

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