Observing mesoscale to submesoscale dynamics today, and in the future with SWOT
(Fu, Lee Lueng and Ferrari, Raffaele), EOS, vol. 89, no. 48, pp. pages, 2008.
Over the last two decades, satellite altimetry has provided one of the most important tools for global monitoring and understanding of ocean dynamics, ranging from large-scale to smaller mesoscale processes. This paper will present some recent results using altimetry to detect smaller ocean processes in the open ocean and in coastal regions. The space and time scales being analysed by standard gridded altimetric maps and from alongtrack data will be reviewed, and compared to the scales we are expecting in the ocean, derived from models or in-situ spectra. The future SWOT altimetric mission will provide sea surface height observations with a 1 km resolution globally , which will enable us to observe the smaller scales open ocean and coastal processes. A review of these processes will be presented.
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