Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

John M. Tyler


This dissertation presents a new method for the estimation of oceanic surface velocity vector fields using multiresolution. Multiresolution is the ability to analyze a signal at various levels of resolution. In this dissertation, wavelet analysis is used to obtain multiresolution. This method requires the use of two sea surface temperature (SST) images of the same region taken within a known time interval. Wavelet analysis is performed in both images to reveal their components at decreasing resolution levels. The comparison of these components at each level yields vector fields representing local displacements of features within the images. These vector fields are smoothed to eliminate noise and to produce coherent vector fields at each resolution level. Vector fields produced with images at levels with higher resolutions are used as refinements to vector fields found at lower resolution levels. Analysis of the operational parameters for the new method are presented in this dissertation. Artificial SST images and NOAA satellite SST images are used to test its accuracy. Comparison with drifter information is also performed. Extensions to the basic algorithm that improve the accuracy of estimations are also discussed. Finally, foreshadowing of the use of the new technique in GOES satellite images and hurricane imagery concludes this dissertation.