Improved statistics of sub-mesoscale eddies in the Baltic Sea retrieved from SAR imagery


In the present article the spatio-temporal distribution of sub-mesoscale eddies seen in Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) imagery of the Baltic Sea is discussed. A total of 1250 ASAR images acquired between 2009 and 2011 form the basis of our studies and show imprints of almost 7000 sub-mesoscale eddies. Since the visibility of vortical structures in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery significantly depends on the near-surface wind speed, wind data from a numerical model of the Baltic Sea were additionally used to obtain improved eddy statistics. Seasonally averaged fields of near-surface wind speed, surface currents, sea surface temperature (SST), and SST gradient were also analysed in order to reveal the role of these hydrophysical parameters in the observed spatial and temporal variation of sub-mesoscale eddies.
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