[24-Feb-21] This paper presents one example showing how both SMAP observations and model show freshening associated with the Yukon River discharge delta. This is a significant finding in that it would allow the application of remote sensing to monitor changes in river discharge associated with possible changes in climate and changes in precipitation and ice melt.
[17-Feb-21] Large rivers, key components of the land-ocean branch of the global water and biogeochemical cycles, can have important impacts on coastal oceans. Sea surface salinity (SSS) is a critical observable for monitoring river plumes and studying their impacts. Satellite and in-situ SSS gridded products have been used to characterize the variability of some river plumes. However, their consistency has not been examined systematically for near major river mouths of the world ocean.
[26-Jan-21] Due to strong winds and intense heat, momentum and freshwater fluxes, Tropical Cyclones (TCs) can have a profound impact on the thermal and salinity structure of the upper ocean. In particular, the present study tries to answer the following questions: 1. What is the typical impact of TC rainfall, evaporation and winds on sea surface salinity (SSS) in terms of climate characteristics at global scale? 2. How do TC intensity, translation speed
[18-Jan-21] Observations of sea surface salinity (SSS) from NASA's Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) and ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite missions are used independently, using two different analysis methods, to characterize and quantify the contribution of mesoscale eddies to the ocean transport of salt.
[16-Jan-21] For strong storms, both sea surface salinity (SSS) and sea surface temperature (SST) wakes develop to the right of storm's track. The present global satellite-based analysis also emphasizes the influences of salt-stratified barrier layers. As anticipated and unambiguously revealed, SSS and SST responses to tropical cyclones (TCs) do not behave similarly in such conditions. In particular, we found reduced SST cooling and increased SSS salinification after the passage of TCs over thick barrier layers. To first-order, satellite SSS can thus inform about the expected resulting strength of hurricane-induced mixing and upwelling, and should be incorporated into metrics of TC-induced SST cooling. It is also found that barrier layers lead to saltier and warmer storm wakes compared to wakes produced over barrier layer free areas.
[31-Dec-20] Seasonal comparisons of sea surface salinity (SSS) data sets in previous studies were limited by not including mooring data. Incorporating these data sets allows a more detailed comparison of amplitude and phase than in any previous studies.
[08-Nov-20] Newly available satellite observations of sea surface salinity (SSS) from Aquarius and SMAP satellites are used to characterize SSS variability in the South China Sea.
[12-Jun-20] Working groups (WGs) were formed to address several priority areas identified at the April 2020 virtual salinity workshop. The WGs are intended to enhance collaborations among salinity investigators who are involved or interested in the WG topics in order to have more coherent effort for satellite SSS assessment (e.g., identifying strengths and weaknesses), for providing feedbacks to satellite SSS retrieval teams, and for supporting NASA salinity science through scientific results derived from the related analyses.
[06-Jun-20] Saildrone is an unmanned surface vehicle that has the capability for measuring multiple atmospheric and oceanographic parameters. Because it has one minute continuous sampling, it provides a unique opportunity for the validation of SST and SSS gradients. For this study, direct comparisons were done with six satellite-derived SST products and two satellite-derived SSS products from SMAP. Overall, correlations (see table) for SST gradients ranged from 0.25 for DMI to 0.39 for MUR. SSS correlations were considerably < 0.15. Results indicated that high correlations for absolute values of SST and SSS with Saildrone do not translate to gradients.
[08-May-20] The advent of the SMAP mission has allowed for the observation of sea surface salinity (SSS) at an unprecedented scale. Despite this, SSS has largely been neglected in monsoon studies, and thus this study focused on how SMAP salinity can be useful for monitoring weather/synoptic related 3-7-day oscillations and monsoon variability. SSS is more useful for the monitoring of oceanic responses to ISOs rather than their prediction, but more clearly captures the intraseasonal oscillation signal due to the wide swath (1000 km) and faster repeat cycle.
[09-Mar-20] Hudson Bay (HB) is the largest semi-inland sea in the Northern Hemisphere, located at the southern margin of the Arctic Ocean. HB is completely covered by ice and snow in winter, and open water in summer. For about six months each year, satellite remote sensing of sea surface salinity (SSS) is retrieved over open water. SSS links freshwater contributions from various processes. Given the strategic importance of HB, SSS has great potential in monitoring the HB freshwater cycle and studying its relationship with climate change. However, SSS retrieved in polar regions from currently operational space-based L-band microwave instruments has large uncertainty (~1 psu) mainly due to sensitivity degradation in cold water (<5C) and sea ice contamination. Given this large uncertainty, we explore the potential use of satellite SSS in monitoring HB freshwater cycle.
[17-Dec-19] Sea surface salinity (SSS) is a critical parameter in the Arctic Ocean, having potential implications for climate and weather. A systematic evaluation of satellite SSS products in the Arctic Ocean across different missions has not been done, hindering the ongoing cal/val and potential applications.
[18-Nov-19] Subfootprint Variability (SFV) is a significant source of mismatch between satellite and in situ, but has not been quantified on a global basis. These heavily-sampled regions tell us that SFV can be found using high-resolution models and mooring data, which are much more common than intensive field campaigns such as SPURS.
[27-Aug-19] The concentration of dissolved salt in our ocean is known as salinity. Since 2011, data from NASA satellites have unveiled changing salinity patterns. But to get a simple measurement like salinity, you need to untangle a lot of complicated signals.
[21-Aug-19] Validation of remote sensing data sets in coastal waters. Overall this is a difficult problem, as global arrays such as ARGO do not provide data in coastal regions. Yet, these areas are critical as coastal upwelling is essential for maintaining the world’s fisheries. The Saildrone deployment along the California/Baja Coasts provides a unique opportunity for validating satellite derived parameters, and thus improve on the monitoring of upwelling in these critical regions of the world’s oceans.
[05-July-19] Here we present an observation-based study of the coupled land-ocean regions of influence for the transformation of precipitation over land into coastal river plume structure in the Gulf of Mexico.
[08-May-19] The Maritime Continent (MC) is a low-latitude chokepoint of the world oceans with the Indonesian throughflow (ITF) linking the Indo-Pacific oceans, influencing global ocean circulation, climate, and biogeochemistry. While previous studies suggested that South-China-Sea freshwaters north of the MC intruding the Indonesian Seas weaken the ITF during boreal winter, the impact of the MC water cycle on the ITF has not been investigated. Here we use ocean-atmosphere-land satellite observations to reveal the dominant contribution of the MC monsoonal water cycle to boreal winter-spring freshening in the Java Sea through local precipitation and runoff from Kalimantan, Indonesia.
[01-Oct-18] River discharge, and its resulting region of freshwater influence (ROFI) in the coastal ocean, has a critical influence on physical and biogeochemical processes in seasonally stratified shelf ecosystems. Multi-year (2010-2016) observations of satellite-derived sea surface salinity (SSS) and in situ water column hydrographic data during summer 2016 were used to investigate physical aspects of the ROFI east of the Mississippi River Delta to better assess regional susceptibility to hypoxia in the summer months.
[11-Sep-18] SMAP ocean surface salinity data track advection of unusually warm salty surface water into the Gulf of Maine in winter 2017-2018. SMAP results confirmed by buoy measurements inside the Gulf as well as glider data on shelf. Such dense and salty surface water hasn't been observed in Jordan Basin in the last 15 years and is linked to shelf/slope interactions with a GS Gulf Stream meander and warm core eddy. New SMAP results demonstrate an all-new monitoring capability along the US East coast.
[04-Jun-18] This study demonstrates that SMAP SSS provides useful information in monitoring large freshwater signals in the Arctic Ocean. Challenges remain in further improvement of SSS retrieval sensitivity in cold water region and having adequate in situ data for calibration and validation.
[17-Nov-17] The Bay of Bengal receives large amounts of freshwater from the Ganga-Brahmaputra (GB) river during the summer monsoon. The resulting upper-ocean freshening influences seasonal rainfall, cyclones, and biological productivity. Sparse in situ observations and previous modeling studies suggest that the East India Coastal Current (EICC) transports these freshwaters southward after the monsoon as an approximately 200 km wide, 2,000 km long "river in the sea" along the East Indian coast. Sea surface salinity (SSS) from the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite provides unprecedented views of this peculiar feature from intraseasonal to interannual timescales.
[25-Oct-17] This study investigates sea surface salinity and sea surface temperature variations in the tropical Atlantic east of the Lesser Antilles, a region where freshwater advection from the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers, may potentially impact air-sea interaction.
[22-Mar-17] Scientists have historically sampled the ocean's chemistry by collecting water on exhaustive field campaigns. More recently, autonomous technologies such as gliders and floats have come on-line, providing greater coverage. Now, oceanographers and climatologists have one more tool to add to their quiver: satellites.
[30-Dec-16] This is the product specification document for the Level 2B (L2B) passive Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) and Wind Speed (WSPD) product for the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) project.
[13-Sep-16] SMAP sea surface salinity (SSS) V2.0 validated release data from Remote Sensing Systems. The near-polar orbit of SMAP allows for complete global coverage of the oceans in 3 days with a repeat cycle of 8 days. The RSS SMAP SSS V2.0 validated release contains 3 products: Level 2, Level 3 8-day running averages, and Level 3 monthly averages. All files are in netCDF4 format and are CF compliant.
[10-Sep-16] Floods can have damaging impacts on both land and sea, yet studies of flooding events tend to focus on only one side of the land/sea continuum. Here we present the first two-sided analysis, focusing on the May 2015 severe flooding in Texas.
[12-May-16] Aquarius and SMOS detected large interannual changes of SSS in the Mississippi River mouth that state-of-the-ocean high-resolution global ocean assimilation products (e.g., US Navy's HYCOM operational anlysis) failed to capture. Aquarius/SMOS/SMAP salinity data provide valuable resources to constraint ocean analysis and forecast to study the linkage of ocean and regional water cycle.
[24-Dec-15] Aquarius is a combined active/passive microwave (L-band) instrument designed to map the salinity of global oceans from space. The specific goal of Aquarius is to monitor the seasonal and interannual variation of the large scale features of the sea surface salinity (SSS) field of the open ocean (i.e. away from land).
[22-Dec-15] This memo presents a method for formally assessing random and systematic uncertainties in the Aquarius salinity retrievals.
[31-Dec-13] The SMAP Handbook was produced in 2013 as a compendium of information on the project near its time of launch. The SMAP Science Definition Team and Project personnel wrote this volume together to provide the community with the essential information on programmatic, technological, and scientific aspects of the mission.
[18-Feb-13] This report documents the Aquarius sea surface salinity measurement error statistics and some residual errors in the V2.0 data release. We also document the effect that changes in the science data processing since V1.3 have on the error statistics by comparing V1.3 with V2.0 results.
[01-July-12] Aquarius/SAC-D Mission feature article from NASA's The Earth Observer newsletter.
[17-Aug-11] This diagram shows the satellite's roll, pitch and yaw angles during deployment. Click here for more information.
[16-Aug-11] This diagram shows the satellite's roll angle change about 0.5 degree during deployment. Click here for more information.
[10-Jun-11] NASA announces the launch of the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory.
[07-Jun-11] A description of the Delta II launch vehicle for the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite launch.
[03-Jun-11] An introduction to the Aquarius instrument and how salinity is measured.
[17-May-11] Science Writers' Guide released by NASA prior to the launch of Aquarius.
[30-Mar-11] This one-page lithograph summarizes the Aquarius/SAC-D mission and why the concentration of salt in the ocean is a key variable for understanding global ocean circulation.
[30-Mar-11] A summary of the launch vehicle and details of the deployment of the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite.
[30-Mar-11] The official mission brochure for the Aquarius/SAC-D Mission.
[28-Mar-11] CONAE kicks off the launch campaign with information on the Aquarius/SAC-D mission for the press.
[01-Jan-11] Yi Chao, Aquarius Project Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory describes the new Aquarius mission to Chris Howell in Ocean Bights.
[19-Dec-10] Written three years before the launch of Aquarius in June 2011, this overview by Dr. Raymond Schmitt summarizes the impacts of climate change on the water cycle and ocean salinity.
[01-July-10] Aquarius/SAC-D Mission feature article from NASA's The Earth Observer newsletter.
[20-May-10] INSPIRE education specialist Jim Gerard from Kennedy Space Center chats with Yi Chao, Aquarius Project Specialist about the Aquarius satellite mission.
[24-Feb-10] Presentation from Aquarius PI Gary Lagerloef's plenary talk at the 2010 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, Oregon.
[22-Feb-10] In this article, written many years before the launch of Aquarius, the authors report that a new satellite program will provide data to reveal how the ocean responds to the combined effects of evaporation, precipitation, ice melt, and river runoff on seasonal and interannual time scales.
[22-Feb-10] The CLIVAR (Climate Variability and Predictability) Working Group, an international research effort focusing on the variability and predictability of the slowly varying components of the climate system, provides recommendations to improve our understanding, monitoring, modeling and predicting of climate.
[19-Feb-10] Researchers Igor Yashayev and Allyn Clarke discuss the evolution and interplay of water masses in the subpolar North Atlantic, an important region in terms of deep-ocean circulation
[19-Feb-10] In this 1996 overview article, Dr. Raymond Schmitt (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) summarizes fresh water's effect on ocean phenomena.
[01-July-08] Aquarius/SAC-D Mission feature article from NASA's The Earth Observer newsletter.
[01-Jan-08] After a four-year development effort, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has delivered the Aquarius Radiometer to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California for integration with the Aquarius instrument.
[11-Jan-06] The mission overview fold-out covering NASA's priorities through the scientific return.