Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
Research article
10 Feb 2014
Research article |  | 10 Feb 2014

Enhancing the accuracy of automatic eddy detection and the capability of recognizing the multi-core structures from maps of sea level anomaly

J. Yi, Y. Du, Z. He, and C. Zhou

Abstract. Automated methods are important for automatically detecting mesoscale eddies in large volumes of altimeter data. While many algorithms have been proposed in the past, this paper presents a new method, called hybrid detection (HD), to enhance the eddy detection accuracy and the capability of recognizing eddy multi-core structures from maps of sea level anomaly (SLA). The HD method has integrated the criteria of the Okubo–Weiss (OW) method and the sea surface height-based (SSH-based) method, two commonly used eddy detection algorithms. Evaluation of the detection accuracy shows that the successful detection rate of HD is ~ 96.6% and the excessive detection rate is ~ 14.2%, which outperforms the OW and those methods using SLA extrema to identify eddies. The capability of recognizing multi-core structures and its significance in tracking eddy splitting or merging events have been illustrated by comparing with the detection results of different algorithms and observations in previous literature.