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Mapping the spatial and temporal SST variations in the Red Sea, revealing a probable regional geothermal anomaly using Pathfinder V5 data

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The idea is presented that satellite-derived night-time thermal maps can be used for the identification of regional sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies that may be related to geothermal processes. The analysis of night-time monthly Pathfinder V5 SST data indicated that November is the month for which the SST seasonal variability is minimized while the impact of the assumed SST anomaly is maximized. The methods used included SST domain slicing, frequency histogram interpretation and time series analysis (TSA using standardized principal component analysis, PCA) of the multi-temporal dataset while K-means cluster analysis identified a negative (cold) SST anomaly. The spatial pattern of SST variations includes a major SST anomaly south of 21° N and a stair step SST variation to the north. SST November data for an 8-year period were used to verify the spatial pattern of the thermal anomaly. Ocean dynamics and water circulation, as well as possible perennial dust storms from the Arabian Shield over the Red Sea and the degassing of underwater soft sediments, were considered as dominant factors controlling the SST anomalies observed. Because of their spatial and temporal structure, the SST variations are more likely to be related to geothermal-geotectonic activity in the Red Sea.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geology, University of Patras, Rion, Greece

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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