The scientific developments carried out in the last years with spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR), as well as the comparisons with in-situ sensors, have demonstrated that SAR is a reliable remote sensing tool to study wave fields on the open ocean. In their so-called SAR image mode, SAR systems on board satellites are able to scan ocean areas about 100 × 100 km2 with a spatial resolution about 20 × 20 m2. These SAR images are able to provide information about the spatial variability of wave fields, as well as other phenomena that occur on the ocean surface, such as the local wind field. This work investigates the capabilities of spaceborne SAR to extract sea state information for those areas close to coastal locations, where the incoming wave fields present high spatial inhomogeneities. For this purpose, ERS-2 SAR and ENVISAT Advanced SAR (ASAR) images acquired over the North Sea and the Bay of Biscay are used to study ocean waves in shallow waters under different climate and oceanographic conditions. In addition, the potential of ENVISAT ASAR capability to scan the ocean surface with dual polarizations (horizontal, HH, and vertical, VV) is analyzed in this work. The relevance of these investigations for different practical applications concerning the analysis of ocean waves is discussed.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.