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SMOS salinity in the subtropical North Atlantic salinity maximum. Part II: Two-dimensional horizontal thermohaline variability

Nicolas Kolodziejczyk 1, * Olga Hernandez 1 Jacqueline Boutin 1 Gilles Reverdin 1
* Corresponding author
1 IPSO - Interactions et Processus au sein de la couche de Surface Océanique
LOCEAN - Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques
Abstract : The horizontal thermohaline seasonal variability of the surface ocean is investigated in the subtropical North Atlantic Surface Salinity Maximum (SSSmax) region. Satellite sea surface temperature and salinity are used, along with high-resolution thermosalinograph data, and Argo interpolated products, to study the horizontal two-dimensional field of density and thermohaline variability. During late winter, compensated temperature and salinity gradients at large and mesoscale are observed northeast of the SSSmax, in the Azores Front Current region. In spite of the large and sharp surface thermohaline fronts, satellite measurements reveal a rather weak surface horizontal density gradient. During summer, the front is dominated by salinity gradients. South of the SSSmax, at large scales, the density ratio is controlled by the salinity gradient and the horizontal density gradient is enhanced by a constructive contribution of opposite salinity and temperature gradients.
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Nicolas Kolodziejczyk, Olga Hernandez, Jacqueline Boutin, Gilles Reverdin. SMOS salinity in the subtropical North Atlantic salinity maximum. Part II: Two-dimensional horizontal thermohaline variability. Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, 120 (2), pp.972-987. ⟨10.1002/2014JC010103⟩. ⟨hal-01121855⟩

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