Science Meetings

Satellite Sea-Surface Salinity Data and Product Biases and Differences
Bayler, E. (26-Nov-14)

Satellite sea-surface salinity (SSS) observations provide broad coverage that contributes to addressing spatial and temporal gaps due to irregular observations in the in situ record. While satellite SSS retrievals continue to mature, significant differences continue between the SSS observations from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Soil Moisture – Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission and the joint United States and Argentine Aquarius/SAC-D mission. In part, these differences result from differing impacts from radio frequency interference (RFI) and land contamination due to the different satellite instrument designs. It is important that users understand these biases and differences when employing these satellite data sets in their applications. The recently completed reprocessing of the Aquarius data record (version 3.0) incorporates significant retrieval updates, significantly improving the mission’s Aquarius Data Processing System (ADPS) products from version 2.0. When comparing the latest versions of the Aquarius data (ADPS version 3.0 and the Aquarius Combined Active-Passive (CAP) version 3.0) and SMOS version 2.0 data, differences in bias magnitudes and seasonalities with respect to Argo float data are evident in a global context. Regional strengths and weaknesses are also noted. The issues evident in the Level-2 swath data carry into the Level-3 products employed for user applications.