Earth  ID: 31247

SWOT Monitors Warming Waters Off California Coast Full Resolution

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This data visualization image above shows sea surface heights off the northern California coast in August 2023 as measured by the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite. Red indicates higher-than-average ocean heights, while blue represents lower-than-average heights.

Warm ocean waters from the developing El Niño are shifting north along coastlines in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Along the coast of California, these warm waters are interacting with a persistent marine heat wave that recently influenced the development of Hurricane Hilary. SWOT is able to spot the movement of these warm ocean waters in unprecedented detail.

The SWOT science team made the measurements with the Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn) instrument. With two antennas spread 33 feet (10 meters) apart on a boom, KaRIn produces a pair of data swaths as it circles the globe, bouncing radar pulses off the water's surface to collect water-height measurements. The visualization combines data from two passes of the SWOT satellite.



Marit Jentoft-Nilsen: Lead Technical Support
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GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Surface Water
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Climate Indicators >> Teleconnections >> El Nino Southern Oscillation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Oceans >> Sea Surface Topography >> Sea Surface Height
GCMD >> Location >> California
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Sea Surface Height Anomaly

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version