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A temporal and spatial empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis has been performed on monthly maximum sea surface temperature (SST) satellite data to examine the SST patterns of variability off northwest Africa. The first temporal EOF mode (75%) represents the cooling and warming cycle over the region. The temporal amplitudes show an interannual variability with 1982 summer temperatures abnormally much colder, immediately preceding the largest El Niño phenomenon of the century. The second temporal mode (9%) distinguishes a large-scale behaviour of the northern and southern areas of the region, the 2 areas being out of phase presumably related to the variability of the wind field. The first spatial EOF mode (66%) is stronger in autumn, with a smaller second maximum at the beginning of spring. The second spatial mode (10%) shows the coastal upwelling region where a seaward extension of upwelled water around 300 km offshore is observed off Cape Blanc. The EOF method is efficient in compressing monthly SST satellite imagery off northwest Africa, with a great percentage of the total variance being accounted by only 2 modes.

Additional information

Authors: GUERRA A H, University of Las Palmas (ES);NYKJAER L, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: International Journal of Remote Sensing (1996)
Record Number: 199611394 / Last updated on: 1996-12-18
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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