Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1992

Abstract

An algorithm to detect fronts in satellite-derived sea surface temperature fields is presented. Although edge detection is the main focus, the problem of cloud detection is also addressed since unidentified clouds can lead to erroneous edge detection. The algorithm relies on a combination of methods and it operates at the picture, the window, and the local level. The resulting edge detection is not based on the absolute strength of the front, but on the relative strength depending on the context thus, making the edge detection temperature-scale invariant. The performance of this algorithm is shown to be superior to that of simpler algorithms commonly used to locate edges in satellite-derived SST images. This evaluation was performed through a careful comparison between the location of the fronts obtained by applying the various methods to the SST images and the in situ measures of the Gulf Stream position.

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