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Wind Waves in the Arctic Seas: Envisat and AltiKa Data Analysis

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Wind-generated waves in the Kara, Laptev, and East-Siberian Seas are investigated using altimeter data from Envisat RA-2 and SARAL-AltiKa. Only isolated ice-free zones had been selected for analysis. Wind seas can be treated as pure wind-generated waves without any contamination by ambient swell. Such zones were identified using ice concentration data from microwave radiometers. Altimeter data, both significant wave height (SWH) and wind speed, for these areas were further obtained for the period 2002–2012 using Envisat RA-2 measurements, and for 2013 using SARAL-AltiKa. Dependencies of dimensionless SWH and wavelength on dimensionless wave generation spatial scale are compared to known empirical dependencies for fetch-limited wind wave development. We further check sensitivity of Ka- and Ku-band and discuss new possibilities that AltiKa's higher resolution can open.
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Keywords: Altimetry; remote sensing; satellite altimeter; significant wave height; wind speed

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Satellite Oceanography Laboratory, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Publication date: October 2, 2015

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