Remotely sensed ocean observations of the Coastal Mixing and Optics site from synthetic aperture radars and advanced very high resolution radiometers

David L. Porter, Donald R. Thompson, Werner Alpers, Roland Romeiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


In this paper, we describe the remote sensing data set collected in support of the Coastal Mixing and Optics experiment (CMO). The data set consists of 33 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images concentrated during the main CMO experimental period supplemented by nearly concurrent advanced very high resolution radiometer imagery. Discussion of how the two-dimensional spatial view of the ocean surface provided by the imagery can greatly reduce the difficulty in interpreting in situ data from point sensors or ship transects is presented. After a brief discussion of the imaging physics we examine interesting signatures ubiquitous in SAR imagery of the coastal ocean, such as internal wave packets, flow over variable bottom topography, and boundary layer turbulence. In particular, we demonstrate how the SAR imagery can be used in conjunction with the mooring data to estimate the speed and propagation direction of coastal internal waves within the study area. Furthermore, we use a recently developed technique to show how estimates of the thermocline depth and surface layer density can be obtained using the SAR imagery and a simple two-layer model of the water column stratification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2000JC900121
Pages (from-to)9623-9638
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue numberC5
StatePublished - May 15 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

Cite this