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Open AccessArticle

Typhoon/Hurricane-Generated Wind Waves Inferred from SAR Imagery

by Lei Zhang 1,2, Guoqiang Liu 1,3,*, William Perrie 2,3,4, Yijun He 1,* and Guosheng Zhang 1,3
School of Marine Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4A2, Canada
Department of Engineering Mathematics and Internetworking, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1605;
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 October 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sea Surface Roughness Observed by High Resolution Radar)
The wide-swath mode of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is a good way of detecting typhoon/hurricane winds with a cross-polarization mode. However, its ability to detect wind waves is restricted because of its spatial resolution and nonlinear imaging mechanisms. In this study, we use the SAR-retrieved wind speed, Sentinel-1 SAR wave mode and buoy data to examine fetch- and duration-limited parametric models (denoted H-models), to estimate the wave parameters (significant wave height Hs, dominant wave period Tp) generated by hurricanes or typhoons. Three sets of H-models, in total 6 models, are involved: The H-3Sec model simulates the wave parameters in 3 sections of a given storm (right, left and back); H-LUT models, including the H-LUTI model and H-LUTB model, provide a better resolution of the azimuthal estimation of wind waves inside the storm by analyzing the dataset from Bonnie 1998 and Ivan 2004; and the third set of models is called the H-Harm models, which consider the effects of the radius of the maximum wind speed rm on the wave simulation. In the case of typhoon Krovanh, the comparison with wave-mode measurements shows that the duration-limited models underestimate the high values for the wind-wave Hs, while the fetch models’ results are more accurate, especially for the H-LUTI model. By analyzing 86 SAR wave mode images, it is found that the H-LUTI model is the best among the 6 H-models, and can effectively simulate the wind-wave Hs, except in the center area of the typhoon; root mean square errors (rmse) can reach 0.88 m, and the coefficient correlation (R2) is 0.86. The H-Harm models add rm as an additional factor to be considered, but this does not add significant improvement in performance compared to the others. This limitation is probably due to the fact that the data sets used to develop the H-Harm models have only a limited coverage range, with respect to rm. Applying H-models to RADARSAT-2 ScanSAR mode data, we compare the retrieved wave parameters to collected buoy measurements, showing good consistency. The H-LUTI model, using a fetch-limited function, does the best among these 6 H-models, whose rmse and R2 are 0.86 m and 0.77 for Hs, and 1.06 s and 0.76 for Tp, respectively. Results indicate the potential for H-models to simulate waves generated by typhoons/hurricanes. View Full-Text
Keywords: synthetic aperture radar (SAR); typhoon/hurricane-generated wind waves; fetch- and duration-limited wave growth relationships synthetic aperture radar (SAR); typhoon/hurricane-generated wind waves; fetch- and duration-limited wave growth relationships
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, L.; Liu, G.; Perrie, W.; He, Y.; Zhang, G. Typhoon/Hurricane-Generated Wind Waves Inferred from SAR Imagery. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1605.

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