Analysis of waves observed by synthetic aperture radar across ocean fronts


Shao W, Jiang X, Nunziata F, Marino A, Yang Z, Zhang Y & Corcione V (2020) Analysis of waves observed by synthetic aperture radar across ocean fronts. Ocean Dynamics, 70 (11), p. 1397–1407.

In this study, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging of waves across ocean fronts was investigated using C-band Sentinel-1 VV-polarized SAR imagery collected over the Yangtze and the Zhujiang estuaries. The presence of ocean fronts in the study area was confirmed by collocated sea surface temperature (SST) data provided by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and sea surface current information from the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) based on the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). The experimental results revealed that as the current speed increased, the cut-off wavelength (λc) increased as well. The effect of the increasing azimuth cut-off wavelength, however, was relatively weak in terms of variations of the normalized radar cross-section (NRCS), i.e., it was within 2 dB for λc ≤ 60 m. Hence, it was weaker than the NRCS variation related to SST. Larger NRCS variations (i.e., within 5 dB) occurred for λc values up to 120 m. In addition, the experimental results also demonstrated that the parameterized first-guess spectrum method (PFSM) wave retrieval performance was affected by ocean fronts. In particular, overestimations occurred when ocean fronts were present and λc was < 100 m

Wave; Ocean front; Synthetic aperture radar

Ocean Dynamics: Volume 70, Issue 11

Publication date30/11/2020
Publication date online30/09/2020
Date accepted by journal23/08/2020
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC