Exploiting the Potential of Satellite Microwave Remote Sensing to Hindcast the Storm Surge in the Gulf of Venice

Authors: De Biasio F., Vignudelli S., Della Valle A., Umgiesser G., Bajo M., Zecchetto S.
Journal: IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2016.2603235
The potential of active microwave satellite observations of sea surface height (radar altimetry) and of sea surface wind (radar scatterometry) has been exploited for storm surge modeling purposes. The altimetry observations were assimilated into a storm surge model (SSM) with a dual 4D-Var system, in order to obtain the best possible surge level field as initial condition to reforecast runs. The scatterometer wind data were instead used to improve the accuracy of the wind fields of a global atmospheric model used as forcing to the SSM through a procedure that has been proved to be able to reduce the differences between the model winds and the scatterometer observations. Hindcast experiments were performed to test the sensitivity of the SSM to the altimetry data assimilation and to the modified wind forcing. Remarkable improvements of the storm surge level hindcast have been obtained for what concerns the modified model wind forcing, while encouraging results have been obtained with the altimeter data assimilation.

Keywords: Active antennas, modeling, radar, radar altimetry, remote sensing, sea, surges, wind, Surges, Satellites, Atmospheric modeling, Spaceborne radar, Tides, Radar measurements, Sea surface

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