Science Meetings

Toward Improved Application of SMOS and Aquarius Level-2 Sea-surface Salinity Products
Zhang, Y., Bayler, E., and Baker-Yeboah, S. (25-Feb-16)

A large number of quality flags and descriptors are associated with the various geophysical, retrieval and geometrical filters provided with Level-2 (swath) sea-surface salinity (SSS) data from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Soil Moisture - Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Aquarius mission. The best application of the SSS data relies on completely understanding the impact on data quality from choices for the thresholds of the different filters available for the Level-2 products. Quick-look Level-3 (gridded) datasets generated directly from SMOS and Aquarius Level-2 products will improve the use of satellite SSS products in NOAA's data applications and in situ data comparisons, as well as for near-real-time data quality monitoring of Level-2 products. Consequently, NCEI generated 1x1 degree binned Level-3 SSS products from SMOS and Aquarius Level-2 data, minimizing latency to within 24 hours of Level-2 data availability. These satellite SSS products include SMOS monthly and 3-day (global coverage) means and Aquarius monthly and 7-day (global coverage) means. In this study, we compare the NCEI satellite binned Level-3 products to the JPL PODAAC official Aquarius and SMOS Barcelona Expert Center (BEC) Level-3 SSS products. Also, we present a comparison of the NCEI Level-3 SSS product with the NOAA/NCEI World Ocean Atlas (WOA) in situ gridded data. Results indicate consistency and a good match of NCEI-binned Level-3 SSS data with other datasets for open ocean areas, with some bias apparent in coastal and high-latitude regions.