Sun glitter imagery of surface waves. Part 2: Waves transformation on ocean currents

Type Article
Date 2017-02
Language English
Author(s) Kudryavtsev Vladimir1, 2, Yurovskaya Maria2, Chapron BertrandORCID3, Collard Fabrice4, Donlon Craig5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Russian State Hydrometeorol Univ, St Petersburg, Russia.
2 : RAS, Marine Hydrophys Inst, Sebastopol, Russia.
3 : Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, Plouzane, France.
4 : OceanDataLaboratory, Brest, France.
5 : European Space Agcy, Estec, Noordwijk, Netherlands.
Source Journal Of Geophysical Research-oceans (2169-9275) (Amer Geophysical Union), 2017-02 , Vol. 122 , N. 2 , P. 1384-1399
DOI 10.1002/2016JC012426
WOS© Times Cited 47
Keyword(s) Satellite Sun Glitter Imagery, ocean surface waves, waves transformation on the currents

Under favorable imaging conditions, the Sentinel-2 Multi-Spectral Instrument (MSI) can provide spectacular and novel quantitative ocean surface wave directional measurements in satellite Sun Glitter Imagery (SSGI). Owing to a relatively large-swath with high-spatial resolution (10 m), ocean surface roughness mapping capabilities, changes in ocean wave energy, and propagation direction can be precisely quantified at very high resolution, across spatial distances of 10 km and more. This provides unique opportunities to study ocean wave refraction induced by spatial varying surface currents. As expected and demonstrated over the Grand Agulhas current area, the mesoscale variability of near-surface currents, documented and reconstructed from satellite altimetry, can significantly deflect in-coming south-western swell systems. Based on ray-tracing calculations, and unambiguously revealed from the analysis of Sentinel-2 MSI SSGI measurements, the variability of the near-surface current explains significant wave-current refraction, leading to wavetrapping phenomenon and strong local enhancement of the total wave energy. In addition to its importance for wave modeling and hazard prediction, these results open new possibilities to combine different satellite measurements and greatly improve the determination of the upper ocean mesoscale vorticity motions.

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