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Surface Current Fields in the Pomeranian Bay Measured by Decameterwave Radar

Presented at the EGS'95 Conference, Remote Sensing and Modelling of Ocean Phenomena II

Klaus-Werner Gurgel
University of Hamburg, Institute of Oceanography, Tropolwitzstrasse 7, D-22529 Hamburg, Germany.
Tel: +49-40-42838-5742, Fax: +49-40-42838-5713,


A decameterwave radar (HF radar) can be used in oceanography to measure surface currents and ocean wave directional spectra by using the process of backscattering of electromagnetic waves from the rough sea surface. The University of Hamburg HF radar uses electromagnetic waves of about 10 m length. Within the German TRUMP project (Transport und Umsatz in der Pommerschen Bucht), one of which aims is to trace the freshwater input from the Odera river, the HF radar measurements give a synoptic and continuous view on the circulation in the bay.

The working range of the HF radar strongly depends on the conductivity of the sea water and the amplitude of the ocean wave at half the electromagnetic wavelength. In contrast to measurements taken in the North Sea at a salinity of 35 PSU, the working range in the Pomeranian Bay is reduced by up to 40 % due to only 6 to 7 PSU. As one HF radar measures the radial component of the current field and to extend the area covered, three HF radar systems have been set up on the island of Usedom.

First results of the TRUMP campaign in summer 1994 are shown. The weather conditions were characterized by very low windspeeds, mainly from easterly directions. The circulation consists of a strong winddriven part which is superposed by geostrophical currents driven by gradients in density, caused by the fresh water input from the Odera river at about 1 PSU.

This work has been funded by the German Minister of Education and Research (BMBF) within the Baltic Sea Research programme, project TRUMP.
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