Minimize Island Wakes

Back to Atmospheric Phenomena

Isole Lipari Isole Lipari

Latitude: 38° 16' N - Longitude: 14° 56' E

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 and have volcanic cones, whose heights are 773m, 962m, 603m, 499m, and 420m, respectively.
Isole Lipari Isole Lipari

Latitude: 38° 32' N - Longitude: 15° 37' E

Atmospheric wakes behind Isole Lipari in the Tyrrhenian Sea generated by a strong westerly wind. The island in the upper section of the image is the island Stromboli consisting of a volcano which is 926m high.
Isole Lipari Isole Lipari

Latitude: 38° 16' N - Longitude: 15° 08' E

Gap winds and wakes behind the islands of Lipari (from top to bottom) Panaria, Salina, Lipari, and Vulcano.
# Orbit Frame(s) Satellite Date Time Location
1 14670 2835 ERS-1 06-May-1994 09:43
2 09020 0747 ERS-1 06-Apr-1993 21:13
3 15488 2835 ERS-1 02-Jul-1994 09:41

If you have any comments on these images please write an e-mail to alpers@ifm.uni-hamburg.de.

Introduction

When a strong wind blows against a mountainous island, then on SAR images often a wake pattern can be delineated on the leeward side of the island. Sometimes the wake pattern consists only of a streak of reduced sea surface roughness due to wind shadowing, but often it exhibits some regular structure due to atmospheric eddies. However, some of the radar signatures visible on SAR images in the lee of mountainous island may also originate from oceanic phenomena which are wind-induced.

References

  • Chopra, K.P. & Hubert, L.F., Mesoscale eddies in wake of islands, J. Atm. Sciences 22, 652-657 (1965).
  • Mitnik, L.M., Atmospheric and oceanic vortex streets: Observations by satellite radars, In: PORSEC'98.
  • Pan, F. & Smith, R.B., Gap winds and wakes: SAR observations and numerical simulations, J. Atm. Sciences 56, 905-923 (1999).
  • Smith, R.B. & Grubisic, V., Aerial observations of Hawaii's wake, J. Atm. Sciences 50, 3728-3750 (1993). (A historical note on the death of Captain James Cook).
  • Smith, R.B., Gleason, A.C. & Gluholsky, P.A., The wake of St. Vincent, J. Atm. Sciences 54, 606-623 (1997).