Marine Science Faculty Publications

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high-frequency radar, MODIS ocean color patterns, submesoscale eddies

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The temporal and spatial variation in submesoscale eddies in the coastal region of Lianyungang (China) is studied over a period of nearly two years with high-resolution (0.03◦ , about 3 km) observations of surface currents derived from high-frequency coastal radars (HFRs). The centers and boundaries of submesoscale eddies are identified based on a vector geometry (VG) method. A color index (CI) representing MODIS ocean color patterns with a resolution of 500 m is used to compute CI gradient parameters, from which submesoscale features are extracted using a modified eddy-extraction approach. The results show that surface currents derived from HFRs and the CI-derived gradient parameters have the ability to capture submesoscale processes (SPs). The typical radius of an eddy in this region is 2–4 km. Although no significant difference in eddy properties is observed between the HFR-derived current fields and CI-derived gradient parameters, the CI-derived gradient parameters show more detailed eddy structures due to a higher resolution. In general, the HFR-derived current fields capture the eddy form, evolution and dissipation. Meanwhile, the CI-derived gradient parameters show more SPs and fill a gap left by the HFR-derived currents. This study shows that the HFR and CI products have the ability to detect SPs in the ocean and contribute to SP analyses.

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Remote Sensing, v. 12, issue 4, art. 711

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