Related Research Areas
Water & Energy Cycles

Making the best use of sea surface salinity (SSS) data from the Aquarius instrument will require a comprehensive understanding of the skin properties measured by Aquarius, the upper ocean SSS distributions, and the freshwater fluxes across the air-sea interface. A complex Aquarius calibration/validation effort is being planned using available and new in situ records, but issues of collocation in time and depth and mismatch in spatial coverage will present significant challenges. This proposal complements the calibration/validation efforts with a modeling component to help determine the expected variations of SSS with depth and the amount of short timescale SSS variance that may be present in the upper ocean. Using as a basis model estimates that are constrained to most available ocean observations, including in situ salinity, but have relatively thick (10 m) upper layers, experiments with higher vertical resolutions near the surface will be performed. Results from runs for the period overlapping the Aquarius mission will be compared to the satellite SSS measurements as well as to the in situ data. Budget analyses of SSS will help determine the relation between Aquarius data, upper ocean SSS structures, and the air-sea forcing fluxes. The proposed work will help with the proper interpretation of the SSS satellite retrievals and the determination of appropriate measures of data uncertainty, and will make it easier for the wider community to begin exploiting the Aquarius observations, either for pure data studies or for modeling and assimilation efforts.

Project PI: Rui Ponte/Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.

Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. 131 Hartwell Avenue Lexington, MA 02421-3136

Phone: 781-761-2288



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Started: Sep 29, 2010

Last Activity: Mar 16, 2011


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