Rain Induced Vertical Temperature and Salinity Variability: Observations from Profiling Floats
[26-Feb-2014] Anderson, J.E. and Riser, S.C.
Presented at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting
Using data from profiling floats enhanced with an auxiliary Surface Temperature and Salinity (STS) CTD, the upper ocean response to rainfall is observed. To date, 69 floats equipped with STS CTDs have been deployed in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans allowing for high vertical resolution (10cm) observations in the upper ocean. While previous studies have shown the upper ocean is well mixed the majority of the time, hundreds of significant (> 0.1 PSU) and often short-lived freshening events have been observed. The magnitude of the freshening varies greatly, with events up to several PSU being observed under monsoon conditions. Using reanalysis, mooring, and satellite data, the upper ocean response to rainfall is characterized under a variety of oceanic and atmospheric conditions. A statistical model of the upper ocean response is presented so that it can be used to put satellite as well as in situ observations in context.