VHF radar detects oceanic submesoscale vortex along Florida Coast


  • Lynn K. Shay,

    1. Division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, RSMAS/University of Miami, Fla., USA
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  • Thomas M. Cook,

  • Brian K. Haus,

  • Jorge Martinez,

  • Hartmut Peters,

  • Arthur J. Mariano,

  • John VanLeer,

  • P. Edgar An,

  • Samuel Smith,

  • A. Soloviev,

  • Robert Weisberg,

  • Mark Luther


Escalating national interest in the coastal ocean underscores the need for high-quality surface current data that can improve our understanding of surface circulation and its impact on societal and environmental issues related to coastal pollution, beach restoration, oil spill mitigation, and coastal air-sea interaction. Coastal regimes exposed to strong ocean currents,surface waves, and winds during storm conditions may frequently require beach renourishment to restore valuable beaches that are key to local economies. Maintaining water quality is a problem, too, particularly where shipping dominates the traffic in and out of harbors. These environmental issues are increasingly difficult to manage due to evolving oceanic and atmospheric conditions. Inferring evolving spatial patterns of the coastal ocean current fields from single-point measurements such as moorings or drifters that propagate away from divergent flow regimes is difficult at best. The Doppler radar technique is one approach that effectively measures the evolution of surface current fields in near-real time.