Can oceanic submesoscale processes be observed with satellite altimetry?

Chavanne, Cedric P. and Klein, Patrice (2010) Can oceanic submesoscale processes be observed with satellite altimetry? Geophysical Research Letters, 37 (22). ISSN 1944-8007

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High-resolution (2 km and hourly) observations of surface currents from High-Frequency Radars are analyzed in terms of sea level anomalies (SLA) and compared with data from two satellite altimeter ground tracks. Purpose is to investigate whether ocean submesoscale processes can be observed with satellite altimetry. Our results highlight two major problems that must be overcome before being able to resolve submesoscale processes with altimetry: (i) signal contamination from high-frequency motions and in particular from incoherent internal tides (near-inertial oscillations have no effect on SLA), and (ii) measurement noise which prevents the computation of accurate cross-track currents on scales O (10 km). The latter may be overcome by future satellite altimeter missions, but the former will require taking into account the effect of mesoscale variability on internal tide propagation in regions where internal tides are significant.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Rosie Cullington
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2011 14:42
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 01:23
DOI: 10.1029/2010GL045057

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