Altimeter estimation of sea surface wind stress for light to moderate winds

Type Article
Date 1997-06
Language English
Author(s) Vandemark Douglas1, Edson James B2, Chapron Bertrand3
Affiliation(s) 1 : NASA, GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CTR, BLDG N-159, WALLOPS ISLAND, VA 23337 USA.
2 : WOODS HOLE OCEANOG INST, WOODS HOLE, MA 02543 USA.
3 : IFREMER, PLOUZANE, FRANCE.
Source Journal Of Atmospheric And Oceanic Technology (0739-0572) (Amer Meteorological Soc), 1997-06 , Vol. 14 , N. 3 , P. 716-722
DOI 10.1175/1520-0426(1997)014<0716:AEOSSW>2.0.CO;2
WOS© Times Cited 18
Abstract Aircraft altimeter and in situ measurements are used to examine relationships between altimeter backscatter and the magnitude of near-surface wind and friction velocities. Comparison of altimeter radar cross section with wind speed is made through the modified Chelton-Wentz algorithm. Improved agreement is found after correcting 10-m winds for both surface current and atmospheric stability. An altimeter friction velocity algorithm is derived based on the wind speed model and an open-ocean drag coefficient. Close agreement between altimeter- and in situ-derived friction velocities is found. For this dataset, quality of the altimeter inversion to surface friction velocity is comparable to that for adjusted winds and clearly better than the inversion to true 10-m wind speed.
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