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Evaluation of the North Sea joining in situ and remotely sensed data with model results

In: Sündermann, J. (Ed): Circulation and contaminant fluxes in the North Sea, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, pp. 434...457, 1994.
Abstract - - The complicated distribution and the rapid changes of water masses in the North Sea make it difficult to interpret data of ship survey cruises as quasi synoptic observations. Isoline maps of any concentrations derived from cruises of several weeks' length do not show an actual situation but a mixture of the sparial distribution as well as the temporal development, which can not be separated from each other. The plotted distribution includes effects of phytoplankton growth and the advective transport of water bodies with different constituents.

In chapter 4.7 Bohle-Carbonell analyzes the ZISCH-STAR cruise data set with respect to these shortcomings of ship observations. One possibility to improve the signification of observations is the additional use of remote sensing data. Which respect to the overall goal of the ZISCH project, the remote determination of water constituents, particularly of suspended matter and of the currents which determine the distributon of water masses, was of major interest. Thus, during the ZISCH experiments, case studies were carried out employing the following two remote sensing techniques in order to assess their potential for scientific investigations and operational monitoring programms:

  • Satellite remote sensing of water constituents based on measurements of the backscattered solar radiation within different bands of the visible spaectral range (data of the CZCS, satellite NIMBUS 7);
  • Ground based remote sensing of surface currents based on the backscattering of high frequency (HF) radio waves, which are transmitted and received from coastal stations (with CODAR system).

Within this chapter, results of both remote sensing techniques will be presented and compared with ship observations and model calculations.
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