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by Carret, A., Birol, F., Estournel, C., Zakardjian, B. and Testor, P.
Abstract:
During the last 15 years, substantial progress has been achieved in altimetry data processing, providing now data with enough accuracy to illustrate the potential of these observations for coastal applications. In parallel, new altimetry techniques improve the data quality by reducing the land contamination and by enhancing the signal-to-noise ratio. Satellite altimetry provides ever more robust and accurate measurements ever closer to the coast and resolve ever shorter ocean signals. An important issue is now to learn how to use altimetry data in conjunction with the other coastal observing techniques. Here, we demonstrate the ability of satellite altimetry to observe part of the Northern Current variability. We cross-compare and combine the currents provided by large data sets of ship-mounted ADCPs, gliders, HF radars and altimetry. We analyze how the different available observing techniques capture the current variability at different time-scales. We also study the coherence/divergence/complementarity of the informations derived from the different instruments considered. Two generation of altimetry missions are used: Jason 2 (nadir Ku-band radar) and SARAL/AltiKa (nadir Ka-band altimetry); their performances are compared. In terms of mean speed of the Northern Current, a very good spatial continuity and coherence is observed at regional scale, showing the complementarity between all the types of current measurements. In terms of current variability, there is still a good spatial coherence but the amplitude of the seasonal variations is underestimated by  50% in altimetry, compared to both gliders and ADCPs, because of a too low spatial resolution. For individual dates this number varies a lot as a function of the distance to the coast and width of the Northern Current. Compared to Jason 2, the SARAL/AltiKa data tend to give estimations of the NC characteristics that are closer to in situ data in a number of cases. Satellite altimetry obviously provides a synoptic view of the Northern Current circulation system and variability which helps to interpret the other current observations. Its regular sampling allows the observation of many features that may be missed by in situ measurements.
Reference:
Carret, A., Birol, F., Estournel, C., Zakardjian, B. and Testor, P., 2018: Synergy between in situ and altimetry data to observe and study the Northern Current variations (NW Mediterranean Sea)Ocean Science Discussions, 2018, 1-36.
Bibtex Entry:
@Article{Carret2018,
  author        = {Carret, A. and Birol, F. and Estournel, C. and Zakardjian, B. and Testor, P.},
  title         = {Synergy between in situ and altimetry data to observe and study the Northern Current variations (NW Mediterranean Sea)},
  journal       = {Ocean Science Discussions},
  year          = {2018},
  volume        = {2018},
  pages         = {1-36},
  abstract      = {During the last 15 years, substantial progress has been achieved in altimetry data processing, providing now data with enough accuracy to illustrate the potential of these observations for coastal applications. In parallel, new altimetry techniques improve the data quality by reducing the land contamination and by enhancing the signal-to-noise ratio. Satellite altimetry provides ever more robust and accurate measurements ever closer to the coast and resolve ever shorter ocean signals. An important issue is now to learn how to use altimetry data in conjunction with the other coastal observing techniques.
Here, we demonstrate the ability of satellite altimetry to observe part of the Northern Current variability. We cross-compare and combine the currents provided by large data sets of ship-mounted ADCPs, gliders, HF radars and altimetry. We analyze how the different available observing techniques capture the current variability at different time-scales. We also study the coherence/divergence/complementarity of the informations derived from the different instruments considered. Two generation of altimetry missions are used: Jason 2 (nadir Ku-band radar) and SARAL/AltiKa (nadir Ka-band altimetry); their performances are compared.
In terms of mean speed of the Northern Current, a very good spatial continuity and coherence is observed at regional scale, showing the complementarity between all the types of current measurements. In terms of current variability, there is still a good spatial coherence but the amplitude of the seasonal variations is underestimated by ~50% in altimetry, compared to both gliders and ADCPs, because of a too low spatial resolution. For individual dates this number varies a lot as a function of the distance to the coast and width of the Northern Current. Compared to Jason 2, the SARAL/AltiKa data tend to give estimations of the NC characteristics that are closer to in situ data in a number of cases. Satellite altimetry obviously provides a synoptic view of the Northern Current circulation system and variability which helps to interpret the other current observations. Its regular sampling allows the observation of many features that may be missed by in situ measurements.},
  copublication = {5: 5 Fr},
  doi           = {10.5194/os-2018-76},
  owner         = {hymexw},
  timestamp     = {2019-01-28},
  url           = {https://www.ocean-sci-discuss.net/os-2018-76/},
}