EGU21-10945, updated on 09 Jan 2023
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Towards long-term (2002-present) reconstruction of northern Indian Ocean Sea Surface Salinity based on AMSR-E and L-band Radiometer data

Marie Montero1, Nicolas Reul2, Clément de Boyer Montégut1, Jérôme Vialard3, and Jean Tournadre1
Marie Montero et al.
  • 1LOPS (IFREMER/CNRS/IRD/UBO), Brest, France
  • 2LOPS (IFREMER/CNRS/IRD/UBO), Toulon, France
  • 3LOCEAN-IPSL (IRD/Sorbonne Universités/CNRS/MNHN), Paris, France

Salinity plays an important role in the oceanic circulation, because of its impact on pressure gradients and the upper ocean stability. This is particularly the case in the North Indian Ocean where freshwater inputs from monsoonal rain and rivers into the Bay of Bengal and strong evaporation in the Arabian Sea leads to high salinity contrasts, and a strong variability tied to the large monsoonal currents seasonal cycle.

In situ salinity data is however too sparse to allow a detailed study of the contrasted and variable Northern Indian Ocean Sea Surface Salinity (SSS). This situation has changed since the launch of SMOS in 2009, and the advent of L-band-based SSS remote sensing with a much higher spatio-temporal sampling. Here, we explore the capacity of C and X-band measurements, such as those of AMSR-E (May 2002-October 2011) to reconstruct Northern Indian Ocean SSS prior 2009. Previous studies have indeed demonstrated the ability of C- and X-band products to reconstruct SSS in high-contrast regions like river estuaries, especially at high Sea Surface Temperature (SST), like in the Northern Indian Ocean.


We are currently focusing on the development of the algorithm to reconstruct salinity from the C- and X-band data of AMSR-E. The ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) SSS dataset build from a merge of SMOS, Aquarius and SMAP data, provides a reference SSS that is both used for training our algorithm and for validation, over the common AMSR-E and CCI period (January 2010 to October 2011).

Our first results are encouraging: spatial contrast between the low-SSS values close to estuaries and along the coast and higher SSS in the middle of the Bay of Bengal as well as some aspects of the seasonal cycle are reproduced. However, spurious signals linked to either radio frequency interferences still need to be filtered out and signals associated with other residual geophysical contributions (e.g. wind, atmospheric vapor content) need to be better estimated. The long-term goal of this work is to merge the C-, X-, and L-band data with in-situ measurements and thus provide a long-term reconstruction of monthly SSS in the north Indian Ocean with a ~50km resolution.

How to cite: Montero, M., Reul, N., de Boyer Montégut, C., Vialard, J., and Tournadre, J.: Towards long-term (2002-present) reconstruction of northern Indian Ocean Sea Surface Salinity based on AMSR-E and L-band Radiometer data, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10945,, 2021.

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