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Airborne Remote Sensing of Inner Shelf Internal Waves and Sub-Mesoscale Features

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[Technical Report, Final Report]

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The inner shelf region is characterized by subsurface processes at a wide range of scales that express observable signatures at the surface of the ocean. Our long-term goals are to develop methods to extract geophysical parameters, such as wave amplitude, current magnitude and direction, and mixing, from remote sensing data and to contribute to the understanding of inner shelf processes with our observations. We surveyed the Inner Shelf region north and south of Pt Sal CA during the main experiment in September and October 2017 using a manned aircraft with infrared, visible, and radar imaging instruments. Simultaneous in situ data from a small boat and from collaborators drifters, moorings, other small and large vessels were used in the analysis. Our analysis of imagery and radar data resulted in documenting and mapping the spatial deformation and speed of internal waves and bores. We also demonstrated the temperature effect on inner shelf surfzone exchange through modulation of rip current plumes. Modeling corroborated remote sensing data to show that cold plumes subduct beneath surface waters, while warm plumes spread as a gravity flow.

Subject Categories:

  • Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment
  • Geography

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]