Sunlight Holds Information on Ocean Waves


Scientists are using Sun glitter in images from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission to map the motion of the sea surface. Created by wind blowing across the surface, wave patterns are complex and highly varied. Being able to predict their movement can greatly benefit mariners, port and rig builders, coastal farmers and more.

The glitter of sunlight can indicate the direction, height and movement of waves. A team of scientists used this information to build a series of detailed images of wave patterns off the coast of Dorre Island in Western Australia.

Building on this technique, and through ESA’s Scientific Assessment of Ocean Glitter project, they were able to map how waves develop in regions where there are strong ocean currents.

Photo Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Leave a Reply