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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(3), 206; doi:10.3390/rs9030206

An Improved Automatic Algorithm for Global Eddy Tracking Using Satellite Altimeter Data

1
College of Information Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
2
Laboratory for Regional Oceanography and Numerical Modeling, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266100, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
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Abstract

In this paper, we propose a new hybrid mesoscale eddy tracking method to enhance the eddy tracking accuracy from global satellite altimeter data. This method integrates both physical and geometric eddy properties (including the distance between eddies, the area and amplitude of eddy, and the shape of the eddy edge) via the output of detection and the calculation of Hausdorff distance, which could describe the similarity between eddy boundaries. We applied the proposed hybrid method to several previously reported eddies and compared the results with those from two traditional tracking methods. A quantitative comparison indicates that the hybrid algorithm can better reveal eddy signals in terms of their spatial scale, amplitude, lifespan, and splitting. The hybrid method was used for global mesoscale eddies tracking from 1993 to 2015. Global distributions of net eddy numbers revealed that the sources of eddies are located along the eastern boundaries of the world oceans, while the sinks of eddies are located along the western boundaries. The lifespan distribution of eddies exhibited steep growth from high and low latitudes to middle latitudes. A clear divergent pathway demonstrates that cyclonic/anticyclonic eddies tend to travel poleward/equatorward in the world oceans. View Full-Text
Keywords: mesoscale eddies; tracking; Hausdorff distance mesoscale eddies; tracking; Hausdorff distance
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Sun, M.; Tian, F.; Liu, Y.; Chen, G. An Improved Automatic Algorithm for Global Eddy Tracking Using Satellite Altimeter Data. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 206.

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