Science Meetings

SMAP Salinity Artifacts Associated with Presence of Rain
Jacob, M.M., Santos-Garcia, A., and Jones, L. (25-Feb-16)

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite carries an L-band radiometer, which measures sea surface salinity (SSS) over a swath of 1000 km @ 40 km resolution. SMAP can extend the Aquarius (AQ) salinity data record with improved temporal/spatial sampling. Previous studies have demonstrated significant differences between satellite and in-situ salinity measurements during rain. In the presence of precipitation, salinity stratification exists near the sea surface, which nullifies the presumption of a well-mixed salinity. In general, these salinity gradients last only a few hours and the upper layer becomes slightly fresher in salinity.

This paper describes the Rain Impact Model (RIM) that simulates the effects of rain accumulation on the SSS [Santos-Garcia et al., 2014] applied to SMAP. This model incorporates rainfall information for the previous 24 hours to the measurement sample (in this case SMAP) and uses as initialization the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) data. Given the better resolution of SMAP, the goal of this paper is to continue the analysis previously done with AQ to better understand the effects of the instantaneous and accumulated rain on the salinity measurements.