Near-Nadir Microwave Specular Returns from the Sea Surface—Altimeter Algorithms for Wind and Wind Stress

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  • 1 Air–Sea Interaction Laboratory, Graduate College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, Lewes, Delaware
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Abstract

Two approaches have been adopted to construct altimeter wind algorithms: one is based on the mean-square sea surface slope, and the other is based on the Seasat scatterometer wind. Both types of algorithms are critically reviewed with respect to the mechanism governing near-nadir radar sea returns and the comparison between altimeter and buoy winds. A new algorithm is proposed; it is deduced on the basis of microwave specular reflection and is finely tuned with buoy-measured winds. On the basis of this algorithm and the formula of the wind-stress coefficient, a simple wind-stress algorithm is also proposed.

Abstract

Two approaches have been adopted to construct altimeter wind algorithms: one is based on the mean-square sea surface slope, and the other is based on the Seasat scatterometer wind. Both types of algorithms are critically reviewed with respect to the mechanism governing near-nadir radar sea returns and the comparison between altimeter and buoy winds. A new algorithm is proposed; it is deduced on the basis of microwave specular reflection and is finely tuned with buoy-measured winds. On the basis of this algorithm and the formula of the wind-stress coefficient, a simple wind-stress algorithm is also proposed.

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