Application of SWOT to the dynamics of Amazon plume and adjacent regions
Event: 2015 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting
Session: Science II: Mesoscale and sub-mesoscale ocean processes: current understanding and preparation for SWOT
Presentation type: Type Oral
Contribution: PDF file
This study explores the potential application of mesoscale resolution remote sensing together with numerical modeling to examine plume dynamics; including the roles of surface processes, entrainment, and continental transport; and interactions with the mesoscale/sub-mesoscale ocean dynamics of the western tropical Atlantic. The talk will show preliminary results using remotely sensed winds and rainfall, TERRA/MODIS ocean true color and diffusive attenuation coefficient, surface salinity, and AltiKa sea level as well as analyses of a 0.1x0.1 degree resolution simulation (Fig. 1 shows a snapshot of surface salinity and sea level from the simulation). As an indication of the potential of swath altimetry Altika is interesting because of its 6 km alongtrack sampling, which is clearly able to detect the plume boundaries. Our presentation also highlights features associated with sub-mesoscale mixing and exchange, which are poorly represented in the current model.
Figure 1: 5-day average properties from October, 2000 of the western tropical Atlantic as simulated in a 0.1-deg spatial resolution global general circulation ocean model. The simulation began in 1979 and is forced by daily wind forcing and climatological monthly river discharge. (top) SSS [psu] and (bottom) SSH [cm]. During this season the plume is displaced to the north, while significant amounts of amazon water are carried eastward by the North Equatorial Countercurrent.