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Journal Article

Validation of Nadir SWH and its variance characteristics from CFOSAT in China’s offshore waters


Xu,  Jingwei
External Organizations;
MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;


Fraedrich,  Klaus F.
MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Xu, J., Wu, H., Xu, Y., Koldunov, N., Zhang, X., Kong, L., et al. (2023). Validation of Nadir SWH and its variance characteristics from CFOSAT in China’s offshore waters. Remote Sensing, 15: 1005. doi:10.3390/rs15041005.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-C65C-E
The offshore waters of China are a typical monsoon−affected area where the significant wave height (SWH) is strongly influenced by the different seasonal mean flow in winter and summer. However, limited in situ validations of the SWH have been performed on the China–France Oceanography Satellite (CFOSAT) in these waters. This study focused on validating CFOSAT nadir SWH data with SWH data from in situ buoy observations for China’s offshore waters and the Haiyang−2B (HY−2B) satellite, from July 2019 to December 2021. The validation against the buoy data showed that the relative absolute error has a seasonal cycle, varying in a narrow range near 35. The RMSE of the CFOSAT nadir SWH was 0.29 m when compared against in situ observations, and CFOSAT was found to be more likely to overestimate the SWH under calm sea conditions. The sea−surface winds play a key role in calm sea conditions. The spatial distributions of the CFOSAT and HY−2B seasonal SWHs were similar, with a two−year mean SWH−field correlation coefficient of 0.98. Moreover, the coherence between the two satellites’ SWH variance increased with SWH magnitude. Our study indicates that, in such typical monsoon−influenced waters, attention should be given to the influence of sea conditions on the accuracy of CFOSAT SWH, particularly in studies that combine data from multiple, long−duration space−based sensors. © 2023 by the authors.