A new interpretation of multifrequency/multipolarization radar signatures of the Gulf Stream front

Susanne Ufermann, Roland Romeiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Radar signatures which are observed on SIR-C/X-SAR multifrequency/multipolarization synthetic aperture radar images of the Gulf Stream off the U.S. east coast are compared with results of simulations with a numerical radar imaging model. Based on in situ data, current and wind variations are included into the model as well as a variation of the thermal stability of the marine atmospheric boundary layer across the Gulf Stream front. According to our model predictions, all of these parameter variations can cause radar signatures of similar shape and modulation depth. But, due to specific dependencies of radar signatures on variations of surface currents and winds, we show that it is possible to distinguish between radar signatures of oceanic and atmospheric origin in multifrequency/multipolarization images and to estimate the corresponding current and wind variations independently. For one set of radar images we derive a most likely scenario of oceanic and atmospheric parameters during the time of the image acquisition for which good overall agreement between observed and simulated radar signatures is obtained at most radar channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1999JC900237
Pages (from-to)25697-25705
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue numberC11
StatePublished - Nov 15 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


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