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SAR-Related Stress Variability in the Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer (MABL)
PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIV UNIVERSITY PARK DEPT OF METEOROLOGY
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By stressing the sea surface, the marine atmospheric boundary layer MABL wind field can alter the sea surface wave field and so can produce discernable signatures on Synthetic Aperture Radar images of the ocean. Among the resulting signatures, the quasi-linear and cellular microscale patterns still require adequate explanation. The ubiquitous MABL two- and three-dimensional convective circulations provide promising candidates for the forcing phenomena producing these signatures. These microscale circulations have horizontal wavelengths on the order of one to ten times the boundary layer depth, or approximately one to ten km, and temporal scales on the order of one to ten hours. Thus, they produce stress variations on the spatial and temporal scales of the quasi-linear and cellular SAR signatures. The goal is to develop methods of diagnosing both the form of MABL convection and its effect on the sea surface stress variability patterns given only the values of the large-scale meteorological and oceanographic parameters. As briefly summarized below, we are making good progress on this problem in several interacting, complementary ways, which range from data analysis to model development.
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