The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

An estimate of structural uncertainty in QuikSCAT wind vector retrievals

Fangohr, Susanne and Kent, E.C. (2012) An estimate of structural uncertainty in QuikSCAT wind vector retrievals Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 51, (5), pp. 954-961. (doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-11-0183.1).

Record type: Article


Differences between QuikSCAT level 2b wind vectors from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, DIRTH product) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS, smoothed versions 3.0 and 4.0) for one sample month are presented. Each dataset is derived from the same observations but processing methods result in differences between wind vectors. These differences originate from (1) uncertainty in the geophysical model functions that relate backscatter to wind, (2) noise in the backscatter measurements, and (3) spatial filtering. Statistics of wind vector differences from RSS and JPL are used as an indication of structural uncertainty in QuikSCAT wind retrievals. Grouped 1 m/s bins, systematic differences are largest beyond 20 m/s where RSS version 3.0 (version 4.0) wind speeds can be more than 15 (10) m/s higher (lower) than JPL wind speeds. Below 20 m/s systematic differences on the order of tenths m/s are attributed to differences in the retrieval methods, rain and ice contamination as well as cross-swath position. Even once the recommended data flags are applied, differences in individual wind speed retrievals exceed 10 m/s in a few cases but are much smaller in regions of the swath where the viewing geometry allows more reliable retrievals. In all parts of the swath standard deviation of the differences are smaller than 1.0 m/s. The analyses provide a measure of structural uncertainty in QuikSCAT wind velocity due to the retrieval process, although such comparisons are not able to determine which dataset is closest to the actual wind.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: February 2012
Published date: May 2012
Organisations: Physical Oceanography, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate


Local EPrints ID: 333324
ISSN: 1558-8424
PURE UUID: fc381bdd-f50c-4c6c-b8cc-2feed6a90be3

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Mar 2012 17:14
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:13

Export record



Author: Susanne Fangohr
Author: E.C. Kent

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.