Analyzing the freshwater balance over the subtropical North Atlantic domain using OSCAR satellite surface currents, Aquarius satellite salinity, SPURS field measurements, and some simplified approaches

Gary Lagerloef (Earth & Space Research, United States)


Hsun-Ying Kao (Earth & Space Research, United States); Kathleen Dohan (Earth & Space Research, United States)

Event: 2014 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Science Results from Satellite Altimetry: Regional and basin-scale processes and sea level rise

Presentation type: Type Poster

The North Atlantic subtropical salinity maximum was the focus of the SPURS field campaign in 2012-2013 to understand the mechanisms that maintain the regional high surface salinities and to understand the surface freshwater flux budget. A priori, it was well known that the region is dominated by climatologically net positive evaporation minus precipitation (E-P>0). Preliminary calculations also indicated that surface current advection alone did not complete the balance. The eddy kinetic energy has a seasonal cycle that is highly correlated with the residual between the steady state transport and the freshwater flux, indicating the contribution of upper-ocean eddy processes in maintaining the salt balance. In this study we combine OSCAR currents [derived from SSH and vector winds], with Aquarius satellite salinity and SPURS in situ salinity measurements, to make preliminary updated analyses.
Gary Lagerloef
Earth & Space Research
United States