Seasonal to Interannual Variations of the Salinity Fronts Under the Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone
[11-Nov-2014] Kao, H-Y. and Lagerloef, G.
Presented at the 2014 Aquarius/SAC-D Science Team Meeting
The Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is a zonal band of atmospheric convective instability, clouds and rainfall near the equator. High-resolution sea surface salinity (SSS) measurements from the Aquarius satellite reveals more detail in the band of lower salinity and a sharp front that aligns with the strong ITCZ atmospheric convection. In the upper ocean, the strong salinity gradient (i.e. the salinity front, SF) can be the main contributor for sharp surface density fronts where the sea surface temperature in near homogeneous under the ITCZ. To understand the variations of the SF will help us better understand the variations of the upper ocean dynamics, such as the formation of barrier layers. In this presentation, we analyze the seasonal to interannual variations of the SF with 3 years of data. The associated precipitation and surface velocity are also discussed.