Estimating Sea Surface Salinity in Coastal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico Using Visible Channels on SNPP-VIIRS
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS DETACHMENT STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS OCEANOGRAPHY DIV
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Sea surface salinity is determined using the visible channels from the Visual Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite VIIRS to derive regional algorithms for the Gulf of Mexico by normalizing to seasonal river discharge. The dilution of river discharge with open ocean waters and the surface salinity is estimated by tracking the surface spectral signature. The water leaving radiances derived from atmospherically-corrected and calibrated 750-m resolution visible M-bands 410, 443, 486, 551, 671 nm are applied to bio-optical algorithms and subsequent multivariate statistical methods to derive regional empirical relationships between satellite radiances and surface salinity measurements. Although radiance to salinity is linked to CDOM dilution, we explored alternative statistical relationships to account for starting conditions. In situ measurements are obtained from several moorings spread across the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay, with a salinity range of 0.1 - 33. Data were collected over all seasons in the year 2013 in order to assess inter-annual variability. The seasonal spectral signatures at the river mouth were used to track the fresh water end members and used to develop a seasonal slope and bias between salinity and radiance. Results show an increased spatial resolution for remote detection of coastal sea surface salinity from space, compared to the Aquarius Microwave salinity. Characterizing the coastal surface salinity has a significant impact on the physical circulation which affects the coastal ecosystems. Results identify locations and dissipation of the river plumes and can provide direct data for assimilation into physical circulation models.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography