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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(10), 1083; doi:10.3390/rs9101083

Computing Coastal Ocean Surface Currents from MODIS and VIIRS Satellite Imagery

1
Radio Oceanography Laboratory, School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2
Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 1 October 2017 / Accepted: 5 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Surface Currents: Progress in Remote Sensing and Validation)
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Abstract

We explore the potential of computing coastal ocean surface currents from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) satellite imagery using the maximum cross-correlation (MCC) method. To improve on past versions of this method, we evaluate combining MODIS and VIIRS thermal infrared (IR) and ocean color (OC) imagery to map the coastal surface currents and discuss the benefits of this combination of sensors and optical channels. By combining these two sensors, the total number of vectors increases by 58.3 % . In addition, we also make use of the different surface patterns of IR and OC imagery to improve the tracking performance of the MCC method. By merging the MCC velocity fields inferred from IR and OC products, the spatial coverage of each individual MCC field is increased by 65.8 % relative to the vectors derived from OC images. The root mean square (RMS) error of the merged currents is 18 cm · s 1 compared with coincident HF radar surface currents. A 5-year long time serious of merged MCC computed currents was used to investigate the current structure of the California Current (CC). Weekly, seasonal, and 5-year mean flows provide a unique space-time picture of the oceanographic variability of the CC. View Full-Text
Keywords: maximum cross-correlation (MCC); coastal currents; Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS); Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS); ocean color(OC); thermal infrared (IR) maximum cross-correlation (MCC); coastal currents; Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS); Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS); ocean color(OC); thermal infrared (IR)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, J.; Emery, W.J.; Wu, X.; Li, M.; Li, C.; Zhang, L. Computing Coastal Ocean Surface Currents from MODIS and VIIRS Satellite Imagery. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1083.

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