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Article

Internal Waves at the UK Continental Shelf: Automatic Mapping Using the ENVISAT ASAR Sensor

Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
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Remote Sens. 2020, 12(15), 2476; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12152476
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 24 July 2020 / Accepted: 30 July 2020 / Published: 2 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Ocean Remote Sensing)
Oceanic internal waves occur within stratified water along the boundary between water layers of different density and are generated when strong tidal currents flow over seabed topography. Their amplitude can exceed 50 m and they transport energy over long distances and cause vertical mixing when the waves break. This study presents the first fully automated methodology for the mapping of internal waves using satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data and applies this to explore their spatial and temporal distribution within UK shelf seas. The new algorithm includes enhanced edge detection and spatial processing to target the appearance of these features on satellite images. We acquired and processed over 7000 ENVISAT ASAR scenes covering the UK continental shelf between 2006 and 2012, to automatically generate detailed maps of internal waves. Monthly and annual internal wave climatology maps of the continental shelf were produced showing spatial and temporal variability, which can be used to predict where internal waves have the most impact on the seabed environment and ecology in UK shelf seas. These observations revealed correlations between the temporal patterns of internal waves and the seasons when the continental shelf waters were more stratified. The maps were validated using well-known seabed topographic features. Concentrations of internal waves were automatically identified at Wyville-Thomson Ridge in June 2008, at the continental shelf break to the east of Rosemary Bank in January 2010 and in the Faroe-Shetland Channel in June 2011. This new automated methodology has been shown to be robust for mapping internal waves using a large SAR dataset and is recommended for studies in other regions worldwide and for SAR data acquired by other sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: internal waves; frequency maps; synthetic aperture radar; SAR; remote sensing; image processing; edge detection internal waves; frequency maps; synthetic aperture radar; SAR; remote sensing; image processing; edge detection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kurekin, A.A.; Land, P.E.; Miller, P.I. Internal Waves at the UK Continental Shelf: Automatic Mapping Using the ENVISAT ASAR Sensor. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 2476. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12152476

AMA Style

Kurekin AA, Land PE, Miller PI. Internal Waves at the UK Continental Shelf: Automatic Mapping Using the ENVISAT ASAR Sensor. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(15):2476. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12152476

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kurekin, Andrey A., Peter E. Land, and Peter I. Miller. 2020. "Internal Waves at the UK Continental Shelf: Automatic Mapping Using the ENVISAT ASAR Sensor" Remote Sensing 12, no. 15: 2476. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12152476

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