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The enclosed and marginal seas surrounding the European continent exhibit a wide spectrum of environmental traits, ranging from sub-polar to sub-tropical climates, from shallow continental shelves to deep oceanic basins, from pristine marine reserves to regions impacted by countless economic and recreational activities. Understanding the inner workings of these seas - aiming to reconcile the conflicting needs of protecting their ecological balance and exploiting their natural resources - requires adequate observation systems, integrating both in situ and remote sensing techniques.
This volume reviews the current potential of Earth Observations, while devoting particular attention to applications dealing with the issues, peculiarities and special challenges posed by the European Seas. The assessment of surface parameters by means of passive techniques - which measure reflected visible and near-infrared sunlight, or surface emissions in the thermal infrared or microwave spectral regions - is addressed. Active techniques - which use transmitted impulses of visible or microwave radiation, for a subsequent evaluation of the signal returned by the water surface - are covered as well. An in-depth analysis of the specific merits and drawbacks of each spectral region, and of both passive and active techniques, provides clues to help compose the unique mosaic of dynamical and bio-geo-chemical features of the European Seas.
List of Contributors.- Preface.- Part 1: Introduction.- 1. The European Marginal and Enclosed Seas: an Overview.- Special Requirements for Remote Sensing of the European Seas.- Part 2: VIS & TIR passive/active R.- 3. Ocean colour remote sensing of the optically complex European Seas.- 4. Observing the Mediterranean Sea from space: operational use and scientific outcomes.- 5. Optical remote sensing applications in the seas with high freshwater inflow.- 6. Optical remote sensing of the North Sea, a marginal basin forced by tidal mixing.- 7. Optical remote sensing applications in the enclosed Baltic Sea.- 8. The seasonal and longer term variations in the optical properties of the NE Atlantic Ocean: from the Irish Sea to the Bay of Biscay.- 9. Coastal upwelling systems in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean.- 10. Application of Optical Remote Sensing in Intertidal Flats.- 11. TIR passive techniques; technical description & applications.- 12. TIR RS applications, general circulation in the Mediterranean Sea.- 13. Mapping of surface currents in the central Mediterranean Sea from thermal imagery using the Maximum Cross Correlation Technique.- 14. LIDAR technical description & applications. Part 3: Microwave passive/active RS: 15. MW passive techniques, radiometry of emitted microwave radiation.- 16. Microwave Aperture Synthesis Radiometry: Setting the Path for (Operational) Sea Salinity Measurement from Space.- 17. MW active techniques, reflected microwave radiation.- 18. Scatterometer applications (wind and sea ice).- 19. Applications of Radar Altimetry.- 20. imaging RADAR, SAR applications 1 (internal waves).- 21. imaging RADAR, SAR applications 2 (wind field assessment and farming).- 22. Sea ice assessment by means of Synthetic Aperture Radar.- 23. Imaging RADAR, SAR applications 4 (currents, along-track InSAR).- 24. Imaging RADAR, SAR applications 5 (ship detection).- 25. Oil spill detection in European waters: approaches, algorithms and guidelines for use.- 26. Long term monitoring of oil spills in the European Seas.- 27. Observation of rip currents by Synthetic Aperture Radar.- 28. Surface waves and currents measured by navigational X-Band radar.- 29. Fundamentals and Applications of Land-based Radar Techniques for Monitoring the Coastal Zone.- Part 4: Synoptic/Multi-Sensor: 30. Satellite Remote Sensing of Coastal Discharge Plumes in Europe.- 31. Multisensor observation of eddies and mesoscale features in coastal zones.- 32. Sea ice monitoring using a multisensor approach.- Glossary