Salty anomalies forced by Tehuantepec and Papagayo gap winds: Aquarius observations

Type Article
Date 2014
Language English
Author(s) Grodsky Semyon A.1, Carton James A.1, Bentamy Abderrahim2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Maryland, Dept Atmospher & Ocean Sci, College Pk, MD 20742 USA.
2 : Ctr Bretagne ZI Pointe du Diable, Inst Francais Rech & Exploitat Mer, Plouzane, France.
Source Remote Sensing Letters (2150-704X) (Taylor & Francis Ltd), 2014 , Vol. 5 , N. 6 , P. 568-574
DOI 10.1080/2150704X.2014.935522
WOS© Times Cited 2
Abstract In the presence of stable near-surface haline stratification, intermittent cold sea surface temperature (SST, upwelling) events produced by gap winds off the Central American Pacific coast should be accompanied by uplifts of saltier water. We illustrate that Aquarius satellite sea surface salinity (SSS) captures these high SSS events. In boreal winter when the intense gap winds are frequent, two tongues of anomalously salty water develop off the Gulfs of Tehuantepec and Papagayo. During that season the average SSS in the meridionally oriented Tehuantepec tongue is about 0.4 psu saltier than the background SSS. The zonally elongated Papagayo tongue stands out even more strongly, being 1-2 psu saltier than SSS in the neighbouring Panama Bight. The spatial locations and orientations of the salty tongues closely correspond to the locations and orientations of the cool SST tongues, suggesting they have similar governing mechanisms.
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