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Summary of Proposal OCE0995

TitleDetecting and Tracking Small Scale Eddies in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea Using High-Resolution RADARSAT-2 and TerraSAR-X Imagery (DTEddie)
Investigator Dreschler-Fischer, Leonie S. - Universität Hamburg, Fachbereich Informatik
Team Member
Dipl. inform. Brauer, Max - Center for Intelligent Systems and Robotics (ISR), Informatik, Universität Hamburg
Dr. Gade, Martin - Zentrum für Marine und Atmosphärische Wissenschaften, Institut für Meereskunde, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften
Dipl. inform. Seppke, Benjamin - Center for Intelligent Systems and Robotics (ISR), Informatik, Universität Hamburg
Ph. Lavrova, Olga - Space Research Institute, Department Remote Sensing of the Earth Space Radar Laboratory
Ph. D. Mityagina, Marina - Space Research Institute, Department Remote Sensing of the Earth, Space Radar Laboratory
Bocharova, Tatjana - Space Research Institute, Department Remote Sensing of the Earth, Space Radar Laboratory
Kamikova, Svetlana - Space Research Institute, Department Remote Sensing of the Earth, Space Radar Laboratory
Kalashnikova, Nina - Space Research Institute, Department Remote Sensing of the Earth, Space Radar Laboratory
Summary

In this project we will develop algorithms to detect, track and measure small scale eddies using high resolution SAR-Data from both RADARSAT-2 and TerraSAR-X satellites. The principle areas to be investigated are the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. In previous work we have already shown, that mesoscale surface currents in the Baltic Sea may be detected and measured by tracking natural surface films using SAR-images or optical images. In the frame of this effort, our promising results will be extend to the region of the Black Sea and to the study of small-scale eddies. Special attention will be paid to dynamics of small-scale fronts in semi-enclosed seas. The input of frontal instabilities in the structure formation process will be highlighted. High resolution radar data provides valuable information on the position of fronts, their origin, peaking, transition and destruction. They will be used to receive statistical and other information about their variability, to observe the formation of meanders along the fronts and their departure with the formation of vortices. Type, form and dynamic characteristics of the phenomena stipulated by a front and observed in its immediate proximity: jets, spiral eddies; vortical dipoles, internal waves etc. will be analyzed.

Our approach will be based on the algorithms for the analysis of meso-scale currents presented by Seppke+Gade+Dreschler-Fischer-2010 - a combination of maximum-cross-correlation and optical flow techniques to track natural surface films. First, we will have to adapt the selection of features to be correlated to the characteristics of the new sensors, i.e. the finer resolution, the different bands, and the polarization modes. Also we will have to develop and explore suitable smoothness constraints for the optical flow equations.

Main areas of interest, with ongoing annual field experiments:

  1. The North-eastern part of the Black Sea including the Kerch Strait
  2. The South-eastern part of the Baltic Sea

Data requirements: We require 20 RADARSAT-2-Images of both principle areas to be investigated. Six images should be taken with a selective single polarization and an ultra-fine resolution during the field experiments in September 2011 and September 2012, four images during spring and summer. The polarization combination should be regularly VV, with a few additional HH images. To increase the probability of the presence of eddies in the image we also need additional 10 multilook-fine images with a slightly lower resolution and a larger nominal swath width. For all images will any ascending/descending pass be sufficient, also any angle of incidence will be fine, but the frequency of observation should be as high as possible to get a high temporal resolution of the currents.
To get an even better temporal resolution we want to combine the RADARSAT-2 data with TerraSAR-X data, 40 data sets of each area of investigation. With 20 data sets per region of interest per year we will be able to observe the small-scale dynamics on the sea shelf under different seasonal and meteorological conditions.

Funding: The data analysis at the ISR will be funded as internal project and part of the ongoing research by the Department of Computer Science, since Leonie Dreschler-Fischer and Benjamin Seppke are employees of the University of Hamburg. Two master students will assist with the programming. The field experiments and investigations at the IKI will be funded as part of the ongoing projects mentioned before. The work at the IfM will be done in cooperation with the DeMarine-Project, funded by the german ministry of economics (Wirtschaftsministerium) and as internal project and part of the ongoing research of the ZMAW.

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