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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/4999

Title: Mapping the Agulhas Current from space: an assessment of ASAR surface current velocities
Authors: Rouault, MJ
Mouche, A
Collard, F
Johannessen, JA
Chapron, B
Keywords: Agulhas current
Agulhas bank
Agulhas retroflection
Surface current velocities
Synoptic maps
Issue Date: Oct-2010
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Citation: Rouault, MJ, Mouche, A, Collard, F et al. 2010. Mapping the Agulhas Current from space: an assessment of ASAR surface current velocities. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 115, pp 14
Series/Report no.: Workflow request;5127
Abstract: Over 2 years of surface current information collected in the Agulhas Current region and derived from the Doppler centroid anomalies of Envisat’s advanced synthetic aperture radar (ASAR) are examined. The sources of errors and potential use of ASAR surface current velocities for oceanographic research are assessed. ASAR surface current velocities are compared to surface drifter data and merged altimetry observations. Maps of sea surface temperature are used to establish the ASAR’s capacity to capture the synoptic circulation. Discrepancies between observed and predicted ASAR velocities result predominantly from inadequate wind corrections combined with radar incidence angles below 30°. Occasionally observed wind-induced outliers cause a bias in the estimated ASAR velocities but do not affect the ability of the ASAR to systematically image regions of strong surface current flow and shear. Time-averaged maps of ASAR-derived surface current velocity seem able to accurately capture the position as well as the intensity of the Agulhas Current. The ability of the ASAR to pick up the smaller features of the circulation along the shelf break also shows that variability along the Agulhas Bank is of the same order of magnitude as that observed in the Agulhas retroflection. ASAR surface current velocities offer a very good complement to altimetry in regions where the mean dynamic topography is poorly resolved. The quasi-synoptic nature of ASAR acquisitions combined with the relatively high resolution of ASAR surface current velocities also make it attractive for studies of submesoscale processes and western boundary current dynamics.
Description: Copyright: 2010 American Geophysical Union
URI: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009JC006050.shtml
ISSN: 0148-0227
Appears in Collections:Climate change
Earth observation
Coastal and marine systems
General science, engineering & technology

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