ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2018, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp. 191-202

Manifestations of river outflows in the Black Sea in remote sensing data

A.Yu. Ivanov 1 , D.V. Khlebnikov 1 , B.V. Konovalov 1 , N.V. Evtushenko 2 , N.V. Terleeva 1 
1 Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
2 SCANEX Group, Moscow, Russia
Accepted: 05.10.2018
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2018-15-5-191-202
Based on the analysis of medium and high resolution satellite optical and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images, which show river outflows in the coastal zone of the eastern part of the Black Sea, their surface manifestations were studied. The powerful river outflows are often observed here throughout the year during intense precipitation and in spring time when snow and glaciers melt in the mountains. They are usually observed both in the fields of ocean color (suspended matter) and sea surface temperature (SST) in visible and infrared images. But they can also be seen in SAR images due to modulation of small-scale waves generated by wind. Joint analysis of satellite images obtained concurrently with ground measurements allowed obtaining new information about this phenomenon. In particular, it is shown that river outflows have a characteristic structure and consist of three distinct regions clearly identified in visible and infrared images, and spread into the open sea to a distance of 30–40 km. The actual plume is most clearly detected in the SST field rather than in ocean color. Dark patches that appeared from time to time on SAR images of the sea surface in the plume zone can be explained by the difference in the temperatures of river and surrounding sea waters and by the transformation of the atmospheric boundary layer over cold water of the plume.
Keywords: Black Sea, river outflows, outflow plumes, optical and infrared images, SAR images, structure of river outflow
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