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Internal wave study in the South China Sea using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

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Internal wave distribution maps have been compiled from more than one hundred ERS-1/2, RADARSAT and Space Shuttle SAR images in the South China Sea (SCS) from 1993 to 2000. Based on these distribution maps, most of the internal waves in the north-east part of the SCS were propagating westward. The wave crest can be as long as 200 km with an amplitude of 100 m, due to strong current from the Kuroshio branching out into the SCS. In a recent SCS internal wave study, moorings were deployed in April 1999 and 2000. Simultaneous SAR coverage from ERS-2 and RADARSAT were also collected. The ERS-2 high-resolution SAR images collected from the Taiwan ground station were processed in near real-time to coordinate the field test. SAR data are then used to compare with mooring data. SAR data and Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) data show internal solitons induced by the semi-diurnal tides with a wave speed of 2.4 m s−1.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Oceans and Ice Branch NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, Maryland 20771 USA 2: Department of Oceanography National Taiwan Ocean University Keelung Taiwan

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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