Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2012

Abstract

A dual-polarization lidar and photography are used to sense internal waves in West Sound, Orcas Island, Washington, from a small aircraft. The airborne lidar detected a thin plankton layer at the bottom of the upper layer of the water, and this signal provides the depth of the upper layer, amplitude of the internal waves, and the propagation speed. The lidar is most effective when the polarization filter on the receiver is orthogonal to the transmitted light, but this does not depend significantly on whether the transmitted light is linearly or circularly polarized. The depolarization is greater with circular polarization, and our results are consistent with a single parameter Mueller scattering matrix. Photographs of the surface manifestation of the internal waves clearly show the propagation direction and width of the phase fronts of the internal waves, even though the contrast is low (2%). Combined with the lidar profile, the total energy of the internal wave packet was estimated to be 9 MJ.

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