8 May 2003 Optical image modulation above the submarine bottom topography: a case study on the Taiwan Banks, China
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Abstract
A possible mechanism to explain the correlation between submarine topography and the direct sunlight specially reflected from the sea surface with variable roughness caused by the bottom-current effect was suggested fifteen years ago by Henning et al. in International Journal of Remote Sensing, 9, 45-67, after comparing radar satellite image and Skylab satellite photograph of the North American east coast (Nantucket Shoals) with submarine relief features. A case study is carried out in the famous sand waves field located at the Taiwan banks of Taiwan Strait in August 1998. The TM images, either visible bands (TM1, TM2, TM3) or near infrared bands (TM4, TM5, TM7), shows submarine relief features for sand waves, with wavelength of 300 to 2000 meters, riding on the lager scale sand ridges and channel system. Sea truth data including 660 nm beam attenuation coefficient profiles were conducted in the same period. We compare signals of TM images, attenuation coefficient profiles, and sounding maps of the Taiwan Bands. The subsurface upwelling signals with contributions of the water column and the bottom, either estimated by single or quasi-single-scattering theory or revealed by the TM images after removing the contribution of direct sunlight reflected signals from sea surface, were too weak to distinguish the ridges and troughs of bedforms especially for red and near infrared bands. However, the direct sunlight specially reflected signals from the sea surface, approximately at same level in water-leaving reflectance not only for visible bands (TM1, TM2, TM3) but also for near infrared bands (TM4, TM5, TM7), was the major submarine bottom topography signals especially for those pixels towards the direction of the sun azimuth. Following a physical description for the lee waves appeared on free surface when the current flows round an underwater obstacle, the direct sunlight reflected signals related wave face slope, is dominated by the height and depth of sand waves and sand ridges, and current speed of the flows over those bedforms. The direct sunlight reflected signals from the sea surface could be regarded as a powerful tool to detect bedforms and other underwater obstacles.
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Yan Li, Jianyu Hu, Jing Li, Bin Fu, and Liming Ma "Optical image modulation above the submarine bottom topography: a case study on the Taiwan Banks, China", Proc. SPIE 4892, Ocean Remote Sensing and Applications, (8 May 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.466156; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.466156
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