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Satellite Determination of the Mesoscale Variability of the Sea Surface Temperature

P. Y. DeschampsLaboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique, Equipe associée au C.N.R.S., Université des Sciences et Techniques de Lille, France

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R. FrouinLaboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique, Equipe associée au C.N.R.S., Université des Sciences et Techniques de Lille, France

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L. WaldCentre de Télédétection et d'Analyse des Milieux Naturels, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 06360 Valbonne, France

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Abstract

Satellite infrared data have been used to investigate the mesoscale variability of the SST (sea surface temperature) field. A statistical analysis of the SST field has been performed by means of the structure function. Results give the equivalent power-law exponent n of the spatial variance density spectrum E(k) ∼ kh. The exponent n was found to vary from 1.5 to 2,3 with a mean value of 1.8 in the ]range of scales 3–100 km which is in agreement with previous one-dimensional analysis from shipborne and airborne measurements. These observed values of n are discussed and compared with the values predicted by turbulence theories.

Abstract

Satellite infrared data have been used to investigate the mesoscale variability of the SST (sea surface temperature) field. A statistical analysis of the SST field has been performed by means of the structure function. Results give the equivalent power-law exponent n of the spatial variance density spectrum E(k) ∼ kh. The exponent n was found to vary from 1.5 to 2,3 with a mean value of 1.8 in the ]range of scales 3–100 km which is in agreement with previous one-dimensional analysis from shipborne and airborne measurements. These observed values of n are discussed and compared with the values predicted by turbulence theories.

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