The aim is to provide the basic knowledge on the measurement methods applicable in the marine environment, specifically on coastal/satellite remote systems and in-situ devices (buoys, currentmeters, anemometers, tidal stations). After the course students will have basic knowledge of satellite measurement systems and will have developed competences on image analysis. Students will also be able of obtaining and analysing Copernicus program products and of using these data to help solving practical problems in coastal and ocean engineering, with special focus on the study of hydrodynamic fields and water quality.
teacher profile | teaching materials


Space and timescales of physical oceanographic phenomena. Shape and topography of ocean basins. Continental shelf, slope and rise. Physical properties of seawater: pressure, temperature, heat, salinity, density. Equation of state.

Basic sampling characteristics: interval, duration, accuracy. Burst sampling versus continuous sampling. Temperature measurement. Salinity/Conductivity/Temperature-Depth Profilers. The practical salinity scale. Sea-level measurements: tide and pressure gauges. The case of Italian National Tidegraph - Rete Mareografica Nazionale (RMN). Eulerian currents measurements: Acoustic Doppler Current Meter. Lagrangian current measurements: modern drifter, subsurface floats (ARGO floats), Gliders and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV). Wind and waves measurements: buoys. The case of Italian National Wavemeter Network - Rete Ondametrica Nazionale (RON). Chemical tracers: Dissolved oxygen and nutrients.

Definition of remote sensing. Satellite orbits and their applications. Geosynchronous and Sun-synchronous satellites. Imaging techniques: cross-track, hybrid cross-track and along-track scanners. Resolution. The nature of electromagnetic radiation. Plank’s Law and Blackbody Emission. Atmospheric properties and radiative transfer: absorption, emission and scattering. Reflection, transmission and absorption at the atmosphere/ocean interface: absorption and scattering properties of seawater. Ocean color: absorption and scattering by phytoplankton, particulates and dissolved material. Infrared observation of Sea Surface Temperature (SST). Radar and oceanic backscatter. Altimetrics satellite. Satellite imaging radars: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and side-looking radar (SLR).

Copernicus EU Earth Observation Satellites: The Sentinel and Contributing Missions. Copernicus Services: Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS). Access and use of CMEMS products and services.

Integration of in-situ and satellite observing system in oceanic and costal hydrodynamic modelling. Downscaling and upscaling. Planning of in-situ monitoring programme with integration with CMEMS products for coastal and off-shore infrastructures design.