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SEASTAR: A Mission to Study Ocean Submesoscale Dynamics and Small-Scale Atmosphere-Ocean Processes in Coastal, Shelf and Polar Seas

Christine Gommenginger 1 Bertrand Chapron 2 Andy Hogg 3 Christian Buckingham 4 Baylor Fox-Kemper 5 Leif Eriksson 6 François Soulat 7 Clément Ubelmann 7 Francisco Ocampo-Torres 8 Bruno Buongiorno Nardelli 9 David Griffin 10 Francisco Lopez-Dekker 11 Per Knudsen 12 Ole Andersen 12 Lars Stenseng 13 Neil Stapleton 14 William Perrrie 15 Nelson Violante-Carvalho 16 Johannes Schulz-Stellenfleth 17 David Woolf 18 Jordi Isern-Fontanet 19 Fabrice Ardhuin 2 Patrice Klein 2 Alexis Mouche 2 Ananda Pascual 20 Xavier Capet 21 Danièle Hauser 22 Ad Stoffelen 23 Rosemary Morrow 24 Lofti Aouf 25 Øyvind Breivik 26, 27 Lee-Lueng Fu 28 Johnny A. Johannessen 29 Yevgeny Aksenov 1 Lucy Bricheno 30 Joel Hirschi 1 Adrien C. H. Martin 1 Adrian P. Martin 1 George Nurser 1 Jeff Polton 31 Judith Wolf 31 Harald Johnsen 32 Alexander Soloviev 33 Gregg A. Jacobs 34 Fabrice Collard 35 Steve Groom 36 Vladimir Kudryavtsev 37 John Wilkin 38 Victor Navarro 39 Alex Babanin 40 Matthew Martin 41 John Siddorn 41 Andrew Saulter 41 Tom Rippeth 42 Bill Emery 43 Nikolai Maximenko 44 Roland Romeiser 45 Hans Graber 45 Aida Alvera Azcarate 46 Chris W. Hughes 30, 47 Doug Vandemark 48 Jose da Silva 49 Peter Jan van Leeuwen 50, 51 Alberto C. Naveira-Garabato 52 Johannes Gemmrich 53 Amala Mahadevan 54 Jose Marquez 55 Yvonne Munro 55 Sam Doody 55 Geoff Burbidge 55
21 PROTEO - Processus et interactions de fine échelle océanique
LOCEAN - Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques
22 SPACE - LATMOS
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : High-resolution satellite images of ocean color and sea surface temperature reveal an abundance of ocean fronts, vortices and filaments at scales below 10 km but measurements of ocean surface dynamics at these scales are rare. There is increasing recognition of the role played by small scale ocean processes in ocean-atmosphere coupling, upper-ocean mixing and ocean vertical transports, with advanced numerical models and in situ observations highlighting fundamental changes in dynamics when scales reach 1 km. Numerous scientific publications highlight the global impact of small oceanic scales on marine ecosystems, operational forecasts and long-term climate projections through strong ageostrophic circulations, large vertical ocean velocities and mixed layer re-stratification. Small-scale processes particularly dominate in coastal, shelf and polar seas where they mediate important exchanges between land, ocean, atmosphere and the cryosphere, e.g., freshwater, pollutants. As numerical models continue to evolve toward finer spatial resolution and increasingly complex coupled atmosphere-wave-ice-ocean systems, modern observing capability lags behind, unable to deliver the high-resolution synoptic measurements of total currents, wind vectors and waves needed to advance understanding, develop better parameterizations and improve model validations, forecasts and projections. SEASTAR is a satellite mission concept that proposes to directly address this critical observational gap with synoptic two-dimensional imaging of total ocean surface current vectors and wind vectors at 1 km resolution and coincident directional wave spectra. Based on major recent advances in squinted along-track Synthetic Aperture Radar interferometry, SEASTAR is an innovative, mature concept with unique demonstrated capabilities, seeking to proceed toward spaceborne implementation within Europe and beyond.
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Christine Gommenginger, Bertrand Chapron, Andy Hogg, Christian Buckingham, Baylor Fox-Kemper, et al.. SEASTAR: A Mission to Study Ocean Submesoscale Dynamics and Small-Scale Atmosphere-Ocean Processes in Coastal, Shelf and Polar Seas. Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media, 2019, 6, pp.457. ⟨10.3389/fmars.2019.00457⟩. ⟨insu-02324567⟩

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