Science Service System

Summary of Proposal OCE3079

TitleWaves, wind and currents effect on the sea surface roughness characteristics and its application to the study of oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico. Historical database.
Investigator Esquivel-Trava, Bernardo - Insituto de Investigaciones Oceanologicas - UABC, Physical Oceanography,
Team Member
Dr. Ocampo-Torres, Francisco J. - Centro de Investigacion Cientifica y de Estudios Superiores de Ensenada, Oceanografia Fisica
Dr. Hasimoto-Beltran, Rogelio - Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas de Guanajuato, Ciencias de la Computacion
Dr. Violante-Carvalho, Nelson - Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Ocean Engineering Program
Dr. Semedo, Alvaro - UNESCO-IHE,
Dr. Diaz Mendez, Guillemro M. - Centro de Investigacion Cientifica y de Estudios Superiores de Ensenada, Centro Mexicano de Innovacion en Energía Geotermica
MSc. Marques dos Santos, Felipe - Rio de Janeiro State University, Department of Engineering Mechanics

The assessment of the sea-state as well of the windand currents on large areas of the ocean may be performed solely through theanalysis of space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar. Analyses of SAR images haverendered, contrastingly, detailed information about the spatial variability ofwinds and waves in coastal areas. Wave inversion algorithms derived to estimatethe low frequency part of the spectra from C-Band SAR are currently in use byresearch centers and Met offices and have proven relatively accurate to studythe spatial evolution of 2D spectrum. However we consider that it is fundamentalto have tools to extract the SAR wave spectrum and other potentially importantinformation from new operational satellite, such as TerraSAR-Ximagery with higher resolutionthat has the potential to provide estimatesof a broader range of the spectrum, even without a wave inversion scheme.

The Center for Scientific Researchand Higher Education of Ensenada(CICESE, for its acronym in spanish) is leading aproject for oceanographic observations in case of oil spills in the Gulf ofMexico. The Mexican Government funds this project, with the Sectorial Fund of the National Councilof Science and Technology, and the Energy Secretariat(CONACY-SENER/Hydrocarbons S0018-2012-01, porject 201441).

One of the objectives of this project is toinvestigate the influence of wind and waves in the surface currents,identifying the relevant components in the momentum flux between the atmosphereand the ocean addressing oil spill scenarios. Oceanographic and meteorologicalmarine buoys (ASIS type buoys) will be deployed in at least 8 locations, fittedwith sensors with the purpose of providing information of waves, surface windsand currents, and wind and current turbulent fluctuations. A specific objectiveis a historical analysis of the spatial structure and variability of the windfield and general sea-state during strong-events such as Northerly winds frontalzones and hurricanes. It is also intended to develop a system for monitoring oilspills and for this purpose it is necessary to have a historical database tocompare and evaluate future oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico Mexican Coast.

The use of TerraSAR-Ximages archive will be a great advantage for this study of the characteristicsof the sea surface roughness and its application in the ocean-atmosphereinteraction.Relevant results will be presented in proper academicworkshops and meetings; they will as well be submitted forpublication to ad-hoc scientific journals.

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