Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 13, Issue 1–4, pp 61–85

Theories for the interaction of electromagnetic and oceanic waves — A review

  • Gaspar R. Valenzuela


This paper reviews analytical methods in electromagnetic scattering theory (i.e., geometrical and physical optics, perturbation, iteration, and integral-equation) which are applicable to the problems of remote sensing of the ocean. In dealing with Earth's surface (in this case, the weakly non-linear ocean), it is not possible to have a complete and exact description of its spatial and temporal statistics. Only the first few moments are generally available; and in the linear approximation the statistics are assumed homogeneous, stationary and Gaussian. For this case, the high-frequency methods (geometrical and physical optics) and perturbation (Rayleigh-Rice), or a combination of them, provide tractable analytical results (i.e., the specular-point, the slightly-rough Bragg scattering and the composite-surface models). The applicability and limitations of these models are discussed. At grazing incidence and for higher frequencies, other scattering mechanisms become significant; and shadowing, diffraction and trapping must be considered.

The more exact methods (integral-equation and Green's function) have not been as successful in yielding tractable analytical solutions, although they have the potential to provide improved theoretical scattering results in the future.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaspar R. Valenzuela
    • 1
  1. 1.Ocean Sciences DivisionNaval Research LaboratoryWashington, D.C.USA

Personalised recommendations