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See detailReconstruction and analysis of QuikSCAT wind measurements with an EOF-based technique
Troupin, Charles ULg; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Beckers, Jean-Marie ULg

Poster (2012, April 24)

QuikSCAT wind products are often used to provide numerical model atmospheric forcing. However, due to the configuration of the satellite swaths, gaps are frequently observed in the daily wind maps. We ... [more ▼]

QuikSCAT wind products are often used to provide numerical model atmospheric forcing. However, due to the configuration of the satellite swaths, gaps are frequently observed in the daily wind maps. We present a solution based on truncated EOF decomposition to fill these gaps. [less ▲]

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See detailReconstruction of the long-term satellite-derived sea surface temperature in the South China Sea
Huynh, Thi Hong Ngu ULg; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg et al

Poster (2012, February 24)

The AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) sea surface temperature is very useful for researches in oceanography because of its high resolution. An AVHRR limitation is the high missing data ... [more ▼]

The AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) sea surface temperature is very useful for researches in oceanography because of its high resolution. An AVHRR limitation is the high missing data percentage due to cloud coverage. In the South China Sea, the average missing data is usually more than 80%, especially more than 95% in the region near the Borneo Island. In this study, we use DINEOF tool to reconstruct a daily night-time AVHRR data set with horizontal resolution of 4km spanning from 1989 to 2009. Besides, a comparison between the results and in situ data is shown. The EOF analysis shows that the first three modes explain about 95% of seasonal variability. [less ▲]

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See detailViewing through the clouds in satellite images
Troupin, Charles ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg et al

Poster (2012, February 24)

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See detailOutlier detection in satellite data using spatial coherence
Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Sirjacobs, Damien ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg et al

in Remote Sensing of Environment (2012), 119

Satellite data sets often contain outliers (i.e., anomalous values with respect to the surrounding pixels), mostly due to undetected clouds and rain or to atmospheric and land contamination. A methodology ... [more ▼]

Satellite data sets often contain outliers (i.e., anomalous values with respect to the surrounding pixels), mostly due to undetected clouds and rain or to atmospheric and land contamination. A methodology to detect outliers in satellite data sets is presented. The approach uses a truncated Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) basis. The information rejected by this EOF basis is used to identify suspect data. A proximity test and a local median test are also performed, and a weighted sum of these three tests is used to accurately detect outliers in a data set. Most satellite data undergo automated quality-check analyses. The approach presented exploits the spatial coherence of the geophysical fields, therefore detecting outliers that would otherwise pass such checks. The methodology is applied to infrared sea surface temperature (SST), microwave SST and chlorophyll-a concentration data over different domains, to show the applicability of the technique to a range of variables and temporal and spatial scales. A series of sensitivity tests and validation with independent data are also conducted. [less ▲]

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See detailHiSea: High resolution merged satellite sea surface temperature fields
Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg; Toussaint, Marie-Eve ULg et al

Conference (2011, May 25)

Several satellites measure Sea Surface Temperature (SST), each of these with different technical specificities and error sources. Together with in situ data, they form a highly complementary data set. The ... [more ▼]

Several satellites measure Sea Surface Temperature (SST), each of these with different technical specificities and error sources. Together with in situ data, they form a highly complementary data set. The creation of merged SST products, integrating the strengths of each of its components and minimising their weaknesses, is however not an easy task, but it is certainly a desirable goal that has generated a large amount of research over the last years. The main objectives of this project are, among others: 1.To develop a technology, based on DINEOF (Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions), that allows to merge different data sets at very different sampling intervals (in space and time) and create an integrated product at the highest sampling frequency and with the highest quality possible. 2.To provide improved, merged analyses of variables such as SST and chlorophyll. 3.Obtain a better understanding of the diurnal cycle of the studied variables. 4.To better understand the relation between variables (and take advantage of these relationship to improve the analyses). 5.Using the above-mentioned developments, explore the capability of the developed technology to produce SST forecasts based on multi-variate EOFs and model forecasts. We will present the first preliminary results for merging different SST data sets, as well as our plans for future developments and applications. Website of the project: http://www.gher.ulg.ac.be/HiSea/ [less ▲]

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See detailMerging satellite and in situ sea surface temperature data using DINEOF
Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg; Beckers, Jean-Marie ULg

Conference (2011, April 05)

High quality sea surface temperature data sets are needed for various applications, including numerical weather prediction, ocean forecasting and climate research. The coverage, resolution and precision ... [more ▼]

High quality sea surface temperature data sets are needed for various applications, including numerical weather prediction, ocean forecasting and climate research. The coverage, resolution and precision of individual sea surface temperature observations is not sufficient for these applications, therefore merging of complementary data sets is needed to increase the coverage and to reduce the final data set error. DINEOF (Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions) is an EOF-based technique to reconstruct missing information -due to clouds, for example in satellite data sets. A new development of this method consists in its capability to merge different data sources into one estimate. This development is tested using AVHRR data of the western Mediterranean Sea and in situ data from various international databases (World Ocean Database (WOD), MEDAR/Medatlas, Coriolis Data Center, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS)). An error assessment between the satellite and in situ data is performed first, in order to determine the error statistics between these two data sources. The error is calculated by database, platform type (CTD, XBT, drifters, bottles and ships) and depth. This error assessment is used to merge the in situ and satellite data. The impact of the sensor-specific errors on the quality of the final product will be assessed, and compared to the results obtained when the same error estimate is used for all sensors. The benefit of using in situ data in addition to satellite data will be also discussed. Additional information can be found at http://modb.oce.ulg.ac.be/mediawiki/index.php/DINEOF and http://gherdiva.phys.ulg.ac.be/DINEOF/ [less ▲]

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See detailEOF analysis of Sea Surface Temperature in the Canary Island - Madeira region
Troupin, Charles ULg; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg et al

Conference (2011, April 05)

We analyzed Sea Surface Temperature (SST) images in a region covering the Canary Islands and Madeira archipelagos, with the following objectives 1. The reconstruction of incomplete SST satellite images ... [more ▼]

We analyzed Sea Surface Temperature (SST) images in a region covering the Canary Islands and Madeira archipelagos, with the following objectives 1. The reconstruction of incomplete SST satellite images during the year 2009. 2. The determination of the main spatial and temporal patters in the region. SST images for 2009 are downloaded from the Medspiration project (http://www.medspiration.org). The images consist of combined measurements from several satellite systems. The images with less than 5% of valid pixels (e.g., clouds) were removed, so that out of the 365 initial images, 347 were kept. The method used in this work for the reconstruction of missing data is Data INterpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions (DINEOF, Alvera-Azcárate et al., 2005). The results show that the first mode is largely dominant, with 87% of the variance explained, and represents the regional seasonal cycle. The second mode accounts for 9% of the variance and depicts a separation between coastal waters and open-ocean waters. The signal of the Cape Ghir upwelling filament is also present in the second mode. The reconstruction allows one to reproduce the characteristic mesoscale features of the region: the coastal upwelling, the island wakes (Gran Canaria, Madeira, ... ), the filament and the eddies in the lee of the main islands. A near-operational version of the reconstruction has been implemented and is available at http://gher-diva.phys.ulg.ac.be/DINEOF/dineof_allCAN.html [less ▲]

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See detailSatellite and in situ sea surface temperature comparison and merging in the Mediterranean Sea.
Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg; Beckers, Jean-Marie ULg

Conference (2011, April 03)

A comparison between in situ and satellite sea surface temperature (SST) for the western Mediterranean Sea is presented. Several international databases are used to extract in situ data: World Ocean ... [more ▼]

A comparison between in situ and satellite sea surface temperature (SST) for the western Mediterranean Sea is presented. Several international databases are used to extract in situ data: World Ocean Database (WOD), MEDAR/Medatlas, Coriolis Data Center, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS). The in situ data are classified into different platforms or sensors (CTD, XBT, drifters, bottles, ships), in order to assess the average difference between these type of data and AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) SST satellite data. Attention is given also to the relative accuracy of each database, and advantages and shortcomings on the use of each database will be discussed. The error assessment will be used to merge in situ and satellite SST data using DINEOF (Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions), an EOF-based technique. The impact of the sensor-specific errors on the quality of the final product will be assessed, and compared to the results obtained when a more general error estimate is used. [less ▲]

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See detailAdvanced Data Interpolating Variational Analysis. Application to climatological data
Troupin, Charles ULg; Sirjacobs, Damien ULg; Rixen, Michel et al

Poster (2011, April)

DIVA (Data Interpolating Variational Analysis) is a variational analysis tool designed to interpolate irregularly-spaced, noisy data onto any desired location, in most cases on regular grids. It is the ... [more ▼]

DIVA (Data Interpolating Variational Analysis) is a variational analysis tool designed to interpolate irregularly-spaced, noisy data onto any desired location, in most cases on regular grids. It is the combination of a particular methodology, based on the minimization of a functional, and a numerically efficient resolution method, based on a finite elements solver. The intrinsic advantages of DIVA are its natural way to take into account topographic and dynamic constraints (coasts, advection, ...) and its capacity to handle large data sets, frequently encountered in oceanography. In the present work, we describe various improvements to the variational analysis tool. The most significant advance is the development of a full error calculation, whilst until now, only an approximate error-field estimate was available. The key issue is the numerical determination of the real covariance function in DIVA, which is not formulated explicitly. This is solved by two concurrent executions of two DIVA, one providing the covariance for the other. The new calculation of the error field is now perfectly coherent with the inherent background covariance in all cases. The correlation length, which was previously set uniform over the computational domain, is now allowed to vary spatially. The efficiency of the tools for estimating the signal-to-noise ratio, through generalized cross-validation, has also been improved. Finally, a data quality-control method is implemented and allows one to detect possible outliers, based on statistics of the data-reconstruction misfit. The added value of these features are illustrated in the case of a large data set of salinity measured in the Mediterranean Sea. Several analyses are performed with different parameters in order to demonstrate their influence on the interpolated fields. In particular, we examine the benefits of using the parameter optimization tools and the advection constraint. The results are validated by means of a subset of data set apart for an independent validation. The corresponding errors fields are estimated using different methods and underline the role of the data coverage. [less ▲]

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See detailAssimilation of high-frequency radar currents in the Ligurian Sea
Barth, Alexander ULg; Chiggiato, Jacopo; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg et al

Conference (2011, April)

The circulation in the Ligurian Sea is dominated by strong currents, namely the Western Corsican Current and the East Corsican Current, which jointly form the Northern Current. A high mesoscale activity ... [more ▼]

The circulation in the Ligurian Sea is dominated by strong currents, namely the Western Corsican Current and the East Corsican Current, which jointly form the Northern Current. A high mesoscale activity, including meanders and eddy formation, is associated to those energetic currents. The non-linear instability processes and apparently chaotic behavior of this current system make this region a challenging testbed for data assimilation. High-frequency radar surface currents have been measured by the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC), La Spezia, Italy from two sites at the Italian Coast (Isola Palmaria and San Rossore). Each of those sites measures the radial currents relative to the position of the radar system. This WERA system captures well the general circulation and mesoscale flow features. The present study shows an application of the assimilation of those measurements in a nested model con- figuration of the Ligurian Sea. It is assumed that the error in the model surface currents comes primarily from uncertainties in the lateral boundary conditions and surface wind fields. The objective of this study is to reduce the uncertainty in these forcing fields by data assimilation. An ensemble of 100 perturbed lateral boundary conditions and surface wind fields is created to take the uncertainty into account. Using an ensemble-smoother technique described in Barth et al, 2010 (Ocean Science) and Barth et al, 2010 (Ocean Dynamics, in press), improved estimates of the wind forcing and boundary conditions are obtained. By rerunning the model with the updated forcing fields, it is verified that the analyzed model solution is closer to the observed HF radar currents. This technique is similar to 4D-Var, but since it is based on the ensemble covariance between forcing fields and observations, it does not require the formulation of an adjoint. [less ▲]

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See detailAdvanced Data Interpolating Variational Analysis. Application to climatological data.
Troupin, Charles ULg; Sirjacobs, Damien ULg; Rixen, Michel et al

Poster (2011, March 21)

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See detailThermocline characterisation in the Cariaco basin: A modelling study of the thermocline annual variation and its relation with winds and chlorophyll-a concentration
Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg; Weisberg, Robert H. et al

in Continental Shelf Research (2011), 31(1), 73-84

The spatial and temporal evolution of the thermocline depth and width of the Cariaco basin (Venezuela) is analysed by means of a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model. The thermocline depth and width are ... [more ▼]

The spatial and temporal evolution of the thermocline depth and width of the Cariaco basin (Venezuela) is analysed by means of a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model. The thermocline depth and width are determined through the fitting of model temperature profiles to a sigmoid function. The use of whole profiles for the fitting allows for a robust estimation of the thermocline characteristics, mainly width and depth. The fitting method is compared to the maximum gradient approach, and it is shown that, under some circumstances, the method presented in this work leads to a better characterization of the thermocline. After assessing, through comparison with independent {\it in situ} data, the model capabilities to reproduce the Cariaco basin thermocline, the seasonal variability of this variable is analysed, and the relationship between the annual cycle of the thermocline depth, the wind field and the distribution of chlorophyll-a concentration in the basin is studied. The interior of the basin reacts to easterly winds intensification with a rising of the thermocline, resulting in a coastal upwelling response, with the consequent increase in chlorophyll-a concentration. Outside the Cariaco basin, where an open-ocean, oligothrophic regime predominates, wind intensification increases mixing of the surface layers and induces therefore a deepening of the thermocline. The seasonal cycle of the thermocline variability in the Cariaco basin is therefore related to changes in the wind field. At shorter time scales (i.e. days), it is shown that other processes, such as the influence of the meandering Caribbean Current, can also influence the thermocline variability. The model thermocline depth is shown to be in good agreement with the two main ventilation events that took place in the basin during the period of the simulation. [less ▲]

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See detailCloud filling of ocean colour and sea surface temperature remote sensing products over the Southern North Sea by the Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions methodology.
Sirjacobs, Damien ULg; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg et al

in Journal of Sea Research (2011), 65(1), 114-130

Optical remote sensing data is now being used systematically for marine ecosystem applications, such as the forcing of biological models and the operational detection of harmful algae blooms. However ... [more ▼]

Optical remote sensing data is now being used systematically for marine ecosystem applications, such as the forcing of biological models and the operational detection of harmful algae blooms. However, applications are hampered by the incompleteness of imagery and by some quality problems. The Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions methodology (DINEOF) allows calculation of missing data in geophysical datasets without requiring a priori knowledge about statistics of the full data set and has previously been applied to SST reconstructions. This study demonstrates the reconstruction of complete space-time information for 4 years of surface chlorophyll a (CHL), total suspended matter (TSM) and sea surface temperature (SST) over the Southern North Sea (SNS) and English Channel (EC). Optimal reconstructions were obtained when synthesising the original signal into 8 modes for MERIS CHL and into 18 modes for MERIS TSM. Despite the very high proportion of missing data (70%), the variability of original signals explained by the EOF synthesis reached 93.5 % for CHL and 97.2 % for TSM. For the MODIS TSM dataset, 97.5 % of the original variability of the signal was synthesised into 14 modes. The MODIS SST dataset could be synthesised into 13 modes explaining 98 % of the input signal variability. Validation of the method is achieved for 3 dates below 2 artificial clouds, by comparing reconstructed data with excluded input information. Complete weekly and monthly averaged climatologies, suitable for use with ecosystem models, were derived from regular daily reconstructions. Error maps associated with every reconstruction were produced according to Beckers et al. (2006) [6]. Embedded in this error calculation scheme, a methodology was implemented to produce maps of outliers, allowing identification of unusual or suspicious data points compared to the global dynamics of the dataset. Various algorithms artefacts were associated with high values in the outlier maps (undetected cloud edges, haze areas, contrails, cloud shadows). With the production of outlier maps, the data reconstruction technique becomes also a very efficient tool for quality control of optical remote sensing data and for change detection within large databases. [less ▲]

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See detailMultiparametric observation and analysis of the Sea
Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Poulain, Pierre-Marie

in Ocean Dynamics (2011)

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See detailData Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions (DINEOF): a tool for geophysical data analyses
Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg; Sirjacobs, Damien ULg et al

in Mediterranean Marine Science (2011), 12(3), 5-11

An overview of the technique called DINEOF (Data Interpolating Empirical Orthog- onal Functions) is presented. DINEOF reconstructs missing information in geophys- ical data sets, such as satellite imagery ... [more ▼]

An overview of the technique called DINEOF (Data Interpolating Empirical Orthog- onal Functions) is presented. DINEOF reconstructs missing information in geophys- ical data sets, such as satellite imagery or time series. A summary of the technique is given, with its main characteristics, recent developments and future research di- rections. DINEOF has been applied to a large variety of oceanographic variables in various domains of different sizes. This technique can be applied to a single variable (monovariate approach), or to several variables together (multivariate approach), with no complexity increase in the application of the technique. Error fields can be computed to establish the accuracy of the reconstruction. Examples are given to illustrate the capabilities of the technique. DINEOF is freely offered to download, and help is provided to users in the form of a wiki and through a discussion email list. [less ▲]

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See detailReconstruction of sea surface temperature by means of DINEOF: a case study during the fishing season in the Bay of Biscay
Ganzedo, Unai; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Esnaola, Ganix et al

in International Journal of Remote Sensing (2011), 32(4), 933-950

The Spanish surface fishery operates mainly during the summer season in the waters of the Bay of Biscay. Sea surface temperature (SST) data recovered from satellite images are being used to improve the ... [more ▼]

The Spanish surface fishery operates mainly during the summer season in the waters of the Bay of Biscay. Sea surface temperature (SST) data recovered from satellite images are being used to improve the operational efficiency of fishing vessels (e.g. reduce search time and increase catch rate) and to improve the understanding of the variations in catch distribution and rate needed to properly manage fisheries. The images used for retrieval of SST often present gaps due to the existence of clouds or satellite malfunction periods. The data gaps can totally or partially affect the area of interest. Within this study, an application of a technique for the reconstruction of missing data called DINEOF (data interpolating empirical orthogonal functions) is analysed, with the aim of testing its applicability in operational SST retrieval during summer months. In this case study, the Bay of Biscay is used as the target area. Three months of SST Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images, ranging from 1 May 2006 to 31 July 2006, were used. The main objective of this work is to test the overall performance of this technique, under potential operational use for the support of the fleet during the summer fishing season. The study is designed to analyse the sensitivity of the results of this technique to several details of the methodology used in the reconstruction of SST, such as the number of empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) retained, the handling of the seasonal cycle or the length (number of images) of the SST database used. The results are tested against independent SST data from International Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS) ship reports and standing buoys and estimations of the error of the reconstructed SST fields are given. Conclusions show that over this area three months of data are enough for efficient SST reconstruction, which yields four EOFs as the optimal number needed for this case study. An extended EOF experiment with SST and SST with a lag of one day was carried out to analyse whether the autocorrelation of the SST data allows better performance in the SST reconstruction, although theexperiment did not improve the results. The validation studies show that the reconstructed SSTs can be trusted, even when the amount of missing data is very high. The mean absolute deviation maps show that the error is greatest near to the coast and mainly in the upwelling areas close to the French and north-western Spanish coasts. [less ▲]

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See detailCorrecting surface winds by assimilating High-Frequency Radar surface currents in the German Bight
Barth, Alexander ULg; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Beckers, Jean-Marie ULg et al

in Ocean Dynamics (2011), 61(5), 599-610

Surface winds are crucial for accurately modeling the surface circulation in the coastal ocean. In the present work, high-frequency (HF) radar surface currents are assimilated using an ensemble scheme ... [more ▼]

Surface winds are crucial for accurately modeling the surface circulation in the coastal ocean. In the present work, high-frequency (HF) radar surface currents are assimilated using an ensemble scheme which aims to obtain improved surface winds taking into account ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) winds as a first guess and surface current measurements. The objective of this study is to show that wind forcing can be improved using an approach similar to parameter estimation in ensemble data assimilation. Like variational assimilation schemes, the method provides an improved wind field based on surface current measurements. However, the technique does not require an adjoint and it is thus easier to implement. In addition, it does not rely on a linearization of the model dynamics. The method is validated directly by comparing the analyzed wind speed to independent in situ measurements and indirectly by assessing the impact of the corrected winds on model sea surface temperature (SST) relative to satellite SST. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison between satellite and in situ sea surface temperature data in the Western Mediterranean Sea
Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Troupin, Charles ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg et al

in Ocean Dynamics (2011), 61(6), 767-778

A comparison between in situ and satellite sea surface temperature (SST) is presented for the western Mediterranean Sea during 1999. Several international databases are used to extract in situ data (World ... [more ▼]

A comparison between in situ and satellite sea surface temperature (SST) is presented for the western Mediterranean Sea during 1999. Several international databases are used to extract in situ data (World Ocean Database (WOD), MEDAR/Medatlas, Coriolis Data Center, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS)). The in situ data are classified into different platforms or sensors (CTD, XBT, drifters, bottles, ships), in order to assess the relative accuracy of these type of data respect to AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) SST satellite data. It is shown that the results of the error assessment vary with the sensor type, the depth of the in situ measurements, and the database used. Ship data are the most heterogeneous data set, and therefore present the largest differences with respect to in situ data. A cold bias is detected in drifter data. The differences between satellite and in situ data are not normally distributed. However, several analysis techniques, as merging and data assimilation, usually require Gaussian-distributed errors. The statistics obtained during this study will be used in future work to merge the in situ and satellite data sets into one unique estimation of the SST. [less ▲]

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See detailReconstruction of satellite-derived sea surface temperature of the South China Sea in 2003-2009
Huynh, Thi Hong Ngu ULg; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Beckers, Jean-Marie ULg

Poster (2011)

The South China Sea (SCS) is a large marginal sea in the tropical region where the percentage of missing data of the daily Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sea surface temperature (SST) is ... [more ▼]

The South China Sea (SCS) is a large marginal sea in the tropical region where the percentage of missing data of the daily Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sea surface temperature (SST) is very high. Here we use a relatively new technique, DINEOF (Data INterpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions), to reconstruct the SST of the SCS in 2003-2009. Furthermore, a comparison between the reconstructed data and daily Tropical rainfall Measuring Mission Microwave Imager (TMI) SST is implemented. [less ▲]

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