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Proceedings Paper

Radar manifestations of ship wakes in algae bloom zones
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Paper Abstract

Radar manifestations of ship wakes in zones of phytoplankton bloom are discussed. It is shown that these signatures can be regarded as indicators of biogenic activity. The main data are satellite radar images. Satellite visible (VIS) and infrared (IR) satellite data are also analyzed. The large amount of the available data allowed us to make some generalizations and obtain statistically reliable results concerning spatial and temporal variability of certain type of ship wake manifestations in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the sea surface. Traditional classification of surface ship wakes manifestations in satellite SAR images specifies distinct features such as a dark trailing centreline region (turbulent wake), narrow V-wakes aligned at some angle to the ship’s path (the Kelvin wake), and, sometimes, internal wave wakes generated under conditions of shallow stratification. Their characteristic lengths are reported to be up to tens of kilometers and they can last from tens of minutes up to one hour. Instances of radar signatures of the ship wakes dissimilar to the previously described were detected in radar images obtained in the course of a satellite monitoring campaign of the central and south-eastern Baltic. These ship wakes can be seen in satellite radar images as long bright strips of enhanced backscatter with characteristic length of up to several hundred kilometres lasting more than 5 hours. A hypothesis is put forward of the coherence of this type of ship wakes detected in sea surface radar imagery and areas of intensive biogenic activity under conditions of low near-surface winds. Statistics on their seasonal, spatial and year-to-year distribution are drawn. These results are compared with temporal and spatial variations in chlorophyll a concentration and intensity of phytoplankton bloom in the area of interest. Chlorophyll a concentration maps derived from satellite data are used, as well as those based on in situ measurements. The relation between occurrences of this type of ship wake manifestations and areas of algae blooms is established.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 October 2014
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9240, Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, Coastal Waters, and Large Water Regions 2014, 924018 (14 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2067339
Show Author Affiliations
Marina I. Mityagina, Space Research Institute (Russian Federation)
Olga Yu. Lavrova, Space Research Institute (Russian Federation)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9240:
Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, Coastal Waters, and Large Water Regions 2014
Charles R. Bostater; Stelios P. Mertikas; Xavier Neyt, Editor(s)

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