Scientia Marina, Vol 76, No S1 (2012)

Detection of a weak meddy-like anomaly from high-resolution satellite SST maps

Mikhail Emelianov
Departament d’Oceanografia Física, Institut de Ciencies del Mar, CSIC , Spain

Mariona Claret
Departament d’Oceanografia Física, Institut de Ciencies del Mar, CSIC , Spain

Eugenio Fraile-Nuez
Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centro Oceanográfico de Canarias , Spain

Maria Pastor
Departament d’Oceanografia Física, Institut de Ciencies del Mar, CSIC , Spain

Irene Laiz
Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucía, CSIC , Spain

Joaquín Salvador
Departament d’Oceanografia Física, Institut de Ciencies del Mar, CSIC , Spain

Josep L. Pelegrí
Departament d’Oceanografia Física, Institut de Ciencies del Mar, CSIC , Spain

Antonio Turiel
Departament d’Oceanografia Física, Institut de Ciencies del Mar, CSIC , Spain


Despite the considerable impact of meddies on climate through the long-distance transport of properties, a consistent observation of meddy generation and propagation in the ocean is rather elusive. Meddies propagate at about 1000 m below the ocean surface, so satellite sensors are not able to detect them directly and finding them in the open ocean is more fortuitous than intentional. However, a consistent census of meddies and their paths is required in order to gain knowledge about their role in transporting properties such as heat and salt. In this paper we propose a new methodology for processing high-resolution sea surface temperature maps in order to detect meddy-like anomalies in the open ocean on a near-real-time basis. We present an example of detection, involving an atypical meddy-like anomaly that was confirmed as such by in situ measurements.


meddy; satellite image; vorticity; thermohaline anomaly; observation in situ

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