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Closed Access item Wavelet Filtering to Extract Coherent Vortices from Altimetric Data

Authors:Turiel, Antonio
Isern-Fontanet, Jordi
García-Ladona, Emilio
Issue Date:Dec-2007
Publisher:American Meteorological Society
Allen Press
Citation:Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 24(12): 2103-2119 (2007)
Abstract:Because of the optimal features of wavelet processing, the use of wavelets for describing and analyzing signals in 2D turbulence has been generalized since a decade ago. In spite of the close analogy between 2D turbulence and geophysical fluid dynamics, few works have tried to generalize the rich framework of wavelet techniques to the study of experimental signals in oceanography. In this paper, the authors extend a prominent wavelet technique designed for the study of direct numerical simulations (DNSs) on 2D turbulence, the coherent vortex simulation, and analyze with it ocean velocity fields obtained from sea surface height maps derived from satellite altimetry. The authors demonstrate the pertinence of this technique to describe altimetry data, resulting in a description of oceanic flows with a reduced number of degrees of freedom. In particular, it is shown that the western Mediterranean circulation is well approximated by a field of extracted coherent vortices when an appropriate wavelet basis is employed as a filter; however, about one-third of the energy is lost in this description, evidencing important differences between results obtained on the frame of 2D turbulence and oceanic data.
Description:17 pages, 7 figures, 2 tables.-- Full-text version available Open Access at: http://www.icm.csic.es/files/oce/almacen/papers/AR-2007-21.pdf
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2007JTECHO434.1
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/15512
ISSN:0739-0572
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