Tropical Cyclone Interaction with the Amazon-Orinoco River Plume: New Insights from SMOS and Aquarius Missions
[03-Dec-2012] Nicolas, R., Yves, Q., Tenerelli, J., Grodsky, S.A., and Bertrand, C.
Presented at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting
The fresh and neutrally buoyant water plume that forms in the Northwestern Tropical Atlantic from the discharge of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers is a salient oceangraphic feature at the surface of the main developement region of north Atlantic Tropical Cyclones. The plume region is characterized by warmer ocean heat content, deeper thermocline and sub-surface barrier layers associated with the strong surface halocline. New microwave L-band radiometer sensors SMOS and Aquarius have clearly identified large scale haline changes after the passage of several hurricanes in 2010 and 2011 over that region. In this talk, we will give an overview of these observed signatures with a particular focus on hurricane Igor, a category 4 storm that developed in September 2010. Multiple satellite and in situ observations of Igor wake will be presented and discussed. In addition, we will present an historical perspective on the potential cooling inhibition impact of the plume and its potential feedback for hurricane intensification.