Underwater topography can be imaged using remote sensing methods. Numerous studies have been conducted to understand the imaging mechanism of shallow water topography. However, current–topography interaction constitutes the weakest link in the remote sensing imaging mechanism of underwater topography. In addition, few studies focused on different topography patterns. Current velocity is highly correlated with bathymetry, and velocity gradient is used as an indicator of sea surface roughness. In this research, we analyzed the distribution characteristics of current velocity and velocity gradient in different cases using a 3-dimensional (3-D) hydrodynamic model to discuss the current–topography interaction part of the remote sensing imaging mechanism, especially the modulation by current parallel or normal to the underwater topography, both positive and negative. Results showed remarkable agreement between 3-D current analysis and surface velocity analysis. Parallel and normal currents had different responses to different topography types. The distribution of surface current gradient showed opposite features over negative and positive topography in parallel and normal current fields. This can be used to distinguish negative topography from positive topography with different current directions to a certain extent.
Citation：Wang, X., H. Zhang, W. Guan and B. Fu. Analysis of current–topography interaction in remote sensing imaging procedures for shallow water topography. Journal of Oceanography, 2017, doi：201710.1007/s10872-017-0413-5.
Zoomed-in cross-section view along a cross section at y = 25 km of a case 1, b case 2, c case 3, and d case 4. The arrows present synthetic velocities of u (m/s, positive eastward) and w (m/s, positive upward) components and are superimposed on the contour presenting the v component (m/s, positive northward). All three components are in the right-handed Cartesian coordinates