Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Meteorology and Physical Oceanography (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Peter J. Minnett

Second Committee Member

Goshka Szczodrak

Third Committee Member

Michael G. Brown


This dissertation document details research into the vertical profiles of temperature through the electromagnetic and thermal skin layers of the ocean. The Marine-Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (M-AERI) is utilized to provide highly accurate, spectrally resolved radiance measurements in the infrared regime which, in turn, are used for the sensing of temperature values within the thermal skin layer depths of less than 1 mm. The inversion equation applied to the high resolution spectra is known to be non-linear and ill-conditioned. To constrain the solution and reduce the errors in this ill-conditioned retrieval problem, the truncated singular value decomposition (TSVD) regularization technique is adopted. The TSVD was first performed on synthetic data to assess the feasibility of the technique and subsequently on field datasets obtained from the M-AERI in which the errors associated with the use of this retrieval method were characterized. Averaging 300 spectra showed a vertical temperature inversion which was deemed unphysical by comparison with the solutions obtained from synthetic data runs and by a scaling analysis using the Rayleigh number. The inversion was removed by incrementing the sub-skin temperature of the first-guess profile required in the TSVD method as synthetic data results showed that the resulting profile converges to the surface and sub-skin temperature. Application of the technique to field data required an additional step of averaging the radiance spectrum into 11 wavenumber intervals so that the problem would not be over-constrained. This was established by adding noise to synthetic data and observing the high variability in the retrieved brightness temperature values.


skin sea surface temperature; radiometer; hyperspectral; truncated singular value decomposition; infrared; inverse problem