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Glitter helps to monitor ocean waves

20 March 2017

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The notion of glitter might appear as somewhat frivolous, but scientists are using Sun glitter in images from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission to map the motion of the sea surface.

Created by wind blowing across the surface, wave patterns are complex and highly varied. Being able to predict their movement can greatly benefit mariners, port and rig builders, coastal farmers and more.

Since measurements of waves from buoys and ships are limited in numbers and in coverage, satellites provide the answer over the oceans. As well as the well-established use of measurements of roughness from satellite sensors, Sentinel-2's multispectral camera can also have an important role to play in mapping ocean waves.

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Satellites shed new light on earthquakes

 24 March 2017

Satellite radar scans of last year's earthquake in New Zealand are changing the way we are thinking about earthquake hazards in regions where our planet's tectonic plates meet.
Sentinel-1Kaikoura quake
The 7.8-magnitude quake that struck New Zealand's South Island near the town of Kaikoura on 14 November was one of the most comprehensively recorded earthquakes in history.