Observing oceanic mesoscale eddies from Geosat altimetry: Preliminary results



Mesoscale eddies constitute the most energetic component of the variability of ocean currents. Sea level variations measured by the Geosat radar altimeter are used to study the spatial and temporal scales of the eddy motion. An attempt is also made to map the temporal evolution of the eddy field in the region of the Agulhas Current south of Africa, where the eddy motions are among the strongest in the world. The results demonstrate that Geosat has provided an unprecedented opportunity to map from space the temporal evolution of sea level variability associated with the energetic eddies in the ocean.