Wind Fields From C- and X-Band SAR Images at VV Polarization in Coastal Area (Gulf of Oristano, Italy)
This work deals with the spatial characteristics of the wind fields evaluated from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images and simulated by the weather research and forecasting (WRF) atmospheric model in the Gulf of Oristano, a small coastal area about 10 km × 18 km wide in western coast of Sardinia (Western Mediterranean Sea). The SAR-derived wind fields have been obtained analyzing images of the COSMO-SkyMed, Radarsat-2, and Sentinel-1A satellites through a fully two-dimensional continuous wavelet transform (2-D-CWT) method. The analysis of the wind directions has shown that the model variability is limited if compared to that inferred by 2-D-CWT method, which mostly respects the variability evidenced by in situ data. As the use of model directions to compute the SAR wind fields is a standard in many studies, the impact on the SAR wind speed retrieval of using the model instead of the SAR-derived directions has been assessed: differences of wind speed greater than ±10% occur for about the 20% of data. The spatial variability of the SAR and model wind speed fields results quite different at both local and domain scales. The knowledge of the spatial variations of the surface wind fields can be very important for the oceanographic applications and constitutes the added value brought by SAR in the description of the coastal wind. For this reason, the SAR-derived wind fields should be taken as reference in many kind of applications.
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