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Summary of Proposal OCE0506

TitleStudy of ocean wave-spectrum evolution under gap-wind and hurricane conditions on Mexican coastal waters using high resolution TerraSAR-X imagery
Investigator Diaz Mendez, Guillermo - CICESE (Centro de Investigacion Cientifica y Educacion Superior de Ensenada), Physical Oceanography Department
Team Member
Dr. Ocampo Torres, Francisco J. - CICESE (Centro de Investigacion Cientifica y Educacion Superior de Ensenada), Physical Oceanography Department
Dr. Lehner, Susanne - DLR-IMF, Gewässerfernerkundung
Dr. Durazo Arvizu, Reginaldo - UABC (Universidad Autonoma de Baja California), School of Marine Sciences, Physical Oceanography Department
SummaryAssessment of the wind field as well as of the sea-state on large areas of the ocean may be performed solely through the analysis of space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar. Analyses of SAR images have rendered, contrastingly, detailed information about the spatial variability of winds and waves in coastal areas. Wave inversion algorithms derived to estimate the low frequency part of the spectra from C-Band SAR are currently in use by research centers and Met offices and have proven relatively accurate to study the spatial evolution of 2D spectrum. Higher resolution X-Band SAR, however, has the potential to provide estimates of a broader range of the spectrum, even without a wave inversion scheme. The main objective of this study is to investigate the detailed spatial evolution of ocean wave-spectrum under two types of strong wind events common to Mexican seas: gap-winds and hurricanes. Specific objectives include the assessment of the variability induced by gap-winds and hurricanes on the spectrum of ocean-swell generated by distant storms; the assessment of the spectrum evolution and spatial variability of fetch-limited waves generated by gap-winds and hurricanes. It is of interest as well to investigate the spatial structure and variability of the wind field and general sea-state during these strong-wind conditions. Standard image analysis subroutines implemented ex-professo, as well as the various algorithms included within the SeaSAR © Toolbox developed by IMF-DLR, will be used to estimate the wind and wave parameters from the TerraSAR-X imagery. Relevant results will be presented on proper academic workshops and meetings; they will as well be submitted for publication to ad-hoc scientific journals. A comprehensive final report will be made available to DLR upon conclusion of the project. Funding for this proposal is available mainly from the Mexican Government's National Council of Science and Technology, through approved project diroc-IOA (Influence of short-wave directionality on fluxes between ocean and atmosphere). Additional funding may come from CICESE's internal funds, UABC's internal funds and DLR's internal funds. It is worth mentioning that similar analyses of wind and wave conditions using ERS-2 SAR imagery downlinked at DLR's Antenna in Chetumal, Mexico, will be carried out along with the investigations included in this proposal, through a research project involving collaboration between DLR and CICESE.

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