Atmospheric Phenomena Introduction
Mesoscale and submesoscale atmospheric phenomena become visible on SAR images because they are associated with variations of the wind stress at the sea surface.
Atmospheric Gravity Waves
ERS-2 image showing gravity waves generated by an easterly wind blowing through the Strait of Gibraltar and over northern Morocco.
Atmospheric Convective Cells
ERS-2 image showing convective cells generated by a cold north-easterly wind blowing from the mountains of Sikhote-Alin northeast of Vladivostok (Russia) over the Sea of Japan.
Atmospheric Boundary Layer Rolls
ERS-1 image showing boundary layer rolls in the Taiwan Strait. The line which divides the image into two sections of different textures represents the boundary between water masses of different temperatures.
ERS-1 image showing katabatic wind fields at the Turkish coast of the Black Sea.
ERS-1 image of the Moroccan Atlantic coast. The bright band following the coast line is caused by a wind blowing late in the evening and at night from the land onto the sea. This land breeze is caused by the fact that after sunset the air over land cools off faster than over the sea.
Visible on this ERS-2 SAR image is a bright area which is near the coast (the coast is not visible) and results from wind blowing from the mountains (in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico) onto the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
ERS-1 image showing wakes behind the Italian islands Filicudi, Salina, Lipari, Vulcano, and Panaria (from west to east) generated by a strong westerly wind. These islands are of volcanic origin.
ERS-1 image showing local wind blowing around the north eastern tip of the Canary island Tenerife.
Radar signatures of rain cells are visible on this ERS-1 SAR image of the South China Sea.