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


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2020, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 178-186

Dynamics of eddies in the Arctic Ocean from quasi-synchronous Sentinel-1 SAR observations

I.E. Kozlov 1 , E.V. Plotnikov 1 
1 Marine Hydrophysical Institute RAS, Sevastopol, Russia
Accepted: 04.03.2020
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2020-17-3-178-186
In this work, we demonstrate new possibilities for retrieval of horizontal surface current and eddy orbital velocities from quasi-synchronous spaceborne Sentinel-1A/B images over the Arctic Ocean. The novelty of the presented work is based on the availability of close-in-time SAR overpasses (up to 2–4 per day) at time intervals not exceeding 40–50 minutes, that became available after the launch of new polar-orbit Sentinel-1A/B satellites in 2014–2016. Based on the maximum cross-correlation method, a pair of Sentinel-1 SAR images over the Fram Strait marginal ice zone is used to calculate horizontal surface current velocity field that possess distinct signatures of eddies of different size and vorticity sign. An overall structure of surface current field agrees well with dynamic features seen in satellite data. Mean orbital velocities of observed eddies are found to be around 0.4–0.5 m/s, in good agreement with earlier field observations over this region. Presented methodology for the analysis of spaceborne SAR data may serve as a basis for investigation of both small- and large-scale dynamic processes in the upper Arctic Ocean over ice-free regions and in marginal ice zone.
Keywords: ocean eddies, orbital eddy velocities, spaceborne radar observations, Fram Strait, marginal ice zone, the Arctic Ocean
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