Sea-surface temperatures may give strong Indications of the location of fronts, currents, eddies and other components of ocean circulation. This has been recognized in particular for the seas around southern Africa. 1 Almost all studies using this property have employed measurements of thermal Infrared radiation from orbiting satellites. This has distinct disadvantages due to the shading effect of persistent cloud cover. Another option Is to use microwave observations, which are not affected by cloud cover. Until recently, however, the spatial resolution of microwave data was far too coarse for the purpose of studying ocean circulation in detail. We describe here a new set of microwave data that does not have this disadvantage, and show how useful It is by describing examples of local applications.
M. Rouault, J. Lutjeharms
South African Journal of Science