Dynamical Interpretation of Satellite-Sensed Thermal Features off Vancouver Island

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  • 1 Department of Oceanography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1W5
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Abstract

Two series of very high resolution thermal infrared satellite images, off Vancouver Island, are examined for evidence of baroclinic waves. A 1979 winter sequence of three images exhibits cold tongues, extending seaward from Vancouver Island, which have separations (wavelengths), northwest phase speeds and growth rates consistent with a model of baroclinically unstable waves. An earlier summer series of eight images displays no such propagation behavior, which may be due to upper layer thermal changes from solar insulation.

Abstract

Two series of very high resolution thermal infrared satellite images, off Vancouver Island, are examined for evidence of baroclinic waves. A 1979 winter sequence of three images exhibits cold tongues, extending seaward from Vancouver Island, which have separations (wavelengths), northwest phase speeds and growth rates consistent with a model of baroclinically unstable waves. An earlier summer series of eight images displays no such propagation behavior, which may be due to upper layer thermal changes from solar insulation.

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