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Ocean surface currents reconstruction from microwave radiometers measurements

AutorGonzález-Haro, Cristina
DirectorIsern-Fontanet, Jordi
Fecha de publicación2015
EditorUniversidad Politécnica de Cataluña
ResumenOcean currents are a key component to understanding many oceanic and climatic phenomena and knowledge of them is crucial for both navigation and operational applications. Therefore, a key problem in oceanography is the estimation of the synoptic velocity field. Currently, global ocean surface velocities are routinely estimated from Sea Surface Height (SSH) measurements provided by altimeters. However, the separation between passes, as well as and the limited number of available altimeters leads to errors in the accurate location of oceanic currents when these measurements are used exclusively. Contrarily, satellite images of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) provide a good qualitative view of the location of ocean patterns, which has encouraged the investigation of alternative methodologies to reconstruct the velocity field based on these observations. This Ph.D. thesis has assessed the capability of SST microwave radiometers observations to retrieve ocean surface currents. The reconstruction of the ocean surface currents from SST observations can be expressed in terms of a transfer function notation, that allows to convert SST maps into SSH, and thus into currents. Because under geostrophic balance, the slope of SSH is proportional to ocean surface currents. This transfer function can be theoretically derived using the Surface Quasi-Geostrophic equations (SQG). Two different approaches were analyzed at a global scale: on one side, the analysis of the validity of the SQG approach has been performed, and on the other, an approach based on the synergetic properties between simultaneous SST and SSH observations has been analyzed. Both approaches have been compared with ocean surface currents retrieved from merged altimetric observations. The study has been focused on the period from October 2002 to May 2005, since during that period there were available four different altimeters, and the quality of the merged altimetric observations was enhanced. [...]
DescripciónMemoria de tesis doctoral presentada por Cristina González Haro para obtener el título de Doctora por la Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), realizada bajo la dirección del Dr. Jordi Isern Fontanet del Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC).-- 156 pages
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