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Large and small scale circulation signatures of the ERS-1 SAR over the Gulf StreamSince September 1991, the ERS-1 SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) has collected approximately 170 frames of ocean imagery on 28 passes over the western Gulf Stream in support of ESA experiment US8-2c. SAR signatures of the north wall are seen on nearly all passes, with modulation depth varying from 3% to 35% for 100 m samples. Many small and mesoscale circulation features associated with the Stream are evident. The detailed form of the signature varies considerably, however. Narrow bright or dark linear features appear to follow streamlines, and on one occasion a strong dark line was associated with an in situ measurement of a sharp current shear. Similarly, larger spatial scale changes in backscatter over the Stream were associated with in situ measurements of atmospheric stability transitions. Physical explanations for the narrow features are not so obvious. However, the accumulation of surfactants along converging current boundaries or local short wave straining and breaking appear plausible. These preliminary results strongly suggest that a wide swath (approximately 500 km) SAR with at least 100 m resolution would be a useful adjunct to existing satellite AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) imagery.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Beal, R.
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Kudryavtsev, V.
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Thompson, D.
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Grodsky, S.
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Tilley, D.
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Dulov, V.
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: ESA, Proceedings of the Second ERS-1 Symposium on Space at the Service of Our Environment, Volume 1
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Accession Number
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