The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Sea surface salinity in the Atlantic ocean from the SMOS mission and its relation to freshwater fluxes

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Spatially dense sea surface salinity (SSS) measurements have recently begun to be made from space through the ESA SMOS mission. In this PhD, the sub-annual to interannual SSS distribution and variability is characterized, and its relationship with surface freshwater fluxes, i.e. Evaporation minus Precipitation (E-P) and river outflow (R) is investigated. Given its link to the Meridional Overturning Circulation, the focus is on the Tropical/ Subtropical Atlantic, which encompasses the dynamically different E-dominated Subtropics and P-dominated Tropics. The global and Atlantic SSS variability on different time scales and controlling processes are reviewed, including a description of how SSS is remotely sensed by satellites. The research initially examines the Tropical Atlantic SSS variability using the first year (2010) of SMOS data. This reveals that the variability in 2010 is dominated by eastern/western basin SSS regions ("poles") close to the major Amazon/Orinoco and Congo/Niger rivers. The poles show seasonal ranges up to 6.5 pss and out-of-phase by 6 months seasonal cycles that largely compensate each other, playing a key role in the Tropical Atlantic salinity budget. The growing SMOS record also reveals new aspects of the interannual variability of the SSS seasonal cycle during 2010-2012 and its phase-relationship with E, P, and R. It also shows that the E/W poles' seasonal compensation holds at multi-annual time scales. Next, a novel analysis of the spatio-temporal characteristic scales of SSS from SMOS over the Tropical/Subtropical Atlantic basin is presented. By examining how quickly consistent SSS changes evolve, regions with time persistent and, likewise, spatially homogeneous SSS variations, on sub-annual to interannual time scales, are identified. The spatial scales of SSS in the region are anisotropic, and persist for up to 3-4 months over most of the basin. Determination of SSS time and space scales of variability also provides insights into the controlling mechanisms of SSS. Finally, focusing on the freshwater forcing term of the salt budget equation, E-P is estimated from satellite SSS variations to explore whether and where SMOS can capture the main characteristics of E-P distribution in the region.

PDF Tzortzi_Eleni_PhD_May_15.pdf - Other
Download (17MB)

Citation

Tzortzi, Eleni (2015) Sea surface salinity in the Atlantic ocean from the SMOS mission and its relation to freshwater fluxes University of Southampton, Ocean & Earth Science, Doctoral Thesis , 194pp.

More information

Published date: April 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, Physical Oceanography

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 377301
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/377301
PURE UUID: 3285c59d-71f0-4da2-9415-3b62dab42995

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 May 2015 11:38
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:01

Export record

Contributors

Author: Eleni Tzortzi
Thesis advisor: Christine Gommenginger

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×