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The modification of X and L band radar signals by monomolecular sea slicksOne methyl oleate and two oleyl alcohol surface films were produced on the surface of the North Sea under comparable oceanographic and meteorological conditions in order to investigate their influence on X and L band radar backscatter. Signals are backscattered in these bands primarily by surface waves with lengths of about 2 and 12 cm, respectively, and backscattered power levels in both bands were reduced by the slicks. The reduction was larger at X band than at L band, however, indicating that shorter waves are more intensely damped by the surface films. The oleyl alcohol film caused greater attenuation of short gravity waves than the film of methyl oleate, thus demonstrating the importance of the physicochemical properties of films on the damping of wind-generated gravity capillary waves. Finally, these experiments indicate a distinct dependence of the degree of damping on the angle between wind and waves. Wind-generated waves traveling in the wind direction are more intensely damped by surface films than are waves traveling at large angles to the wind.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Huehnerfuss, H. (Hamburg, Univeristaet Hamburg, Germany)
Alpers, W. (Hamburg, Universitaet; Max-Planck-Institut fuer Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany)
Cross, A. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Garrett, W. D. (Hamburg Univ. Germany)
Keller, W. C. (Hamburg Univ. Germany)
Plant, W. J. (Hamburg Univ. Germany)
Schuler, D. L. (U.S. Navy, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC, United States)
Lange, P. A. (Bundesanstalt fuer Wasserbau Hamburg, Germany)
Schlude, F. (Deutsche Forschungs- und Versuchsanstalt fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt Institut fuer Hochfrequenztechnik, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
November 20, 1983
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 88
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Distribution Limits