An algorithm for cold patch detection in the sea off northeast Taiwan using multi-sensor data

Yu Hsin Cheng, Chung Ru Ho, Zhe Wen Zheng, Yung Hsiang Lee, Nan Jung Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Multi-sensor data from different satellites are used to identify an upwelling area in the sea off northeast Taiwan. Sea surface temperature (SST) data derived from infrared and microwave, as well as sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) data derived from satellite altimeters are used for this study. An integration filtering algorithm based on SST data is developed for detecting the cold patch induced by the upwelling. The center of the cold patch is identified by the maximum negative deviation relative to the spatial mean of a SST image within the study area and its climatological mean of each pixel. The boundary of the cold patch is found by the largest SST gradient. The along track SSHA data derived from satellite altimeters are then used to verify the detected cold patch. Applying the detecting algorithm, spatial and temporal characteristics and variations of the cold patch are revealed. The cold patch has an average area of 1.92 × 104 km2. Its occurrence frequencies are high from June to October and reach a peak in July. The mean SST of the cold patch is 23.8 °C. In addition to the annual and the intraseasonal fluctuation with main peak centered at 60 days, the cold patch also has a variation period of about 4.7 years in the interannual timescale. This implies that the Kuroshio variations and long-term and large scale processes playing roles in modifying the cold patch occurrence frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5521-5533
Number of pages13
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul 1



  • Cold dome
  • Integration filtering algorithm
  • Kuroshio
  • Multi-sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this