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SAR-derived wind fields at the coastal region in the East/Japan Sea and relation to coastal upwelling

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The relationship between the modification of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) wind field and coastal upwelling was investigated using high-resolution wind fields from Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Array type L-band synthetic aperture radar (PALSAR) imagery and sea-surface temperature (SST) from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Advanced Very-High-Resolution Radiometer (NOAA/AVHRR) data. The retrieved SAR wind speeds seem to agree well with in situ buoy measurements with only a relatively small error of 0.7 m s−1. The SAR wind fields retrieved from the east coast of Korea in August 2007 revealed a spatial distinction between near and offshore regions. Low wind speeds of less than 3 m s−1 were associated with cold water regions with dominant coastal upwelling. Time series of in situ measurements of both wind speed and water temperature indicated that the upwelling was induced by the wind field. The low wind field from SAR was mainly induced by changes in atmospheric stability due to air–sea temperature differences. In addition, wind speed magnitude showed a positive correlation with the difference between SST and air temperature (R 2 = 0.63). The dependence of viscosity of water on radar backscattering at the present upwelling region was negligible since SAR data showed a relatively large backscattering attenuation to an SST ratio of 1.2 dB °C−1. This study also addressed the important role of coastal upwelling on biological bloom under oligotrophic environments during summer.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Science Education, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 2: Department of Earth Science Education, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 3: GST, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), College Park 20740, USA 4: Satellite Analysis Division, National Meteorological Satellite Center, Jincheon, Korea

Publication date: June 18, 2014

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