Optical Measurements of Capillary-Gravity Wave Spectra Using a Scanning Laser Slope Gauge

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  • 1 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
  • | 2 Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, Rhode Island
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Abstract

A description of a new scanning laser slope gauge (SLSG) is given and the results obtained from both laboratory wind-wave tank and field measurements are presented. The device relies on the measurements of two components of surface slope to compute spatial and temporal lags that are used to estimate the full three-dimensional slope spectrum. The device is capable of resolving frequencies up to 34.7 Hz and wavelengths in the range between 7.9 × 10−3 and 3.08 × 10−1 m. The technique makes use of a two-dimensional laser scanner that samples the perimeter of a circle of 0.154-m diameter (an unfilled aperture). Both laboratory and field results indicate the device is well suited to measure the full three-dimensional spectra of capillary-gravity waves and is capable of providing ground-truthing measurements for the verification of remotely sensed ocean surface features.

Abstract

A description of a new scanning laser slope gauge (SLSG) is given and the results obtained from both laboratory wind-wave tank and field measurements are presented. The device relies on the measurements of two components of surface slope to compute spatial and temporal lags that are used to estimate the full three-dimensional slope spectrum. The device is capable of resolving frequencies up to 34.7 Hz and wavelengths in the range between 7.9 × 10−3 and 3.08 × 10−1 m. The technique makes use of a two-dimensional laser scanner that samples the perimeter of a circle of 0.154-m diameter (an unfilled aperture). Both laboratory and field results indicate the device is well suited to measure the full three-dimensional spectra of capillary-gravity waves and is capable of providing ground-truthing measurements for the verification of remotely sensed ocean surface features.

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