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Seasonal Variability of Retroflection Structures and Transports in the Atlantic Ocean as Inferred from Satellite-Derived Salinity Maps

1
Department d’Oceanografia Física i Tecnològica, Institut de Ciencias del Mar, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
2
Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
3
SMOS Barcelona Expert Center, Pg. Marítim 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
4
Department d’Oceanografia Física i Tecnològica, Institut de Ciencias del Mar, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Unidad Asociada ULPGC-CSIC, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
5
Instituto Oceanográfico, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo 01000-000, Brazil
6
American University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 26666, Sharjah, UAE
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(7), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11070802
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sea Surface Salinity Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

Three of the world’s most energetic regions are in the tropical and South Atlantic: the North Brazil Current Retroflection, the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence, and the Agulhas Current Retroflection. All three regions display offshore diversions of major boundary currents, which define the intensity of the returning limb of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. In this work, we use a sea-surface salinity (SSS) satellite product, combined with a high-resolution numerical model and in situ measurements, in order to explore the seasonal variation of the surface currents and transports in these three regions. The analysis of the model output shows that the SSS patterns reflect the surface velocity structure, with the largest horizontal SSS gradients coinciding with those areas of highest velocity and the most predominant velocity vector being 90° anticlockwise (clockwise) from the horizontal SSS gradient in the northern (southern) hemisphere. This information is then applied to the SSS satellite product to obtain maps of water velocity and salt transports, leading to a quantitative tool to estimate both water and salt transports in key regions of the world ocean. View Full-Text
Keywords: sea surface salinity; SMOS; retroflections; surface velocity; water transport; salt transport sea surface salinity; SMOS; retroflections; surface velocity; water transport; salt transport
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Castellanos, P.; Olmedo, E.; Pelegrí, J.L.; Turiel, A.; Campos, E.J.D. Seasonal Variability of Retroflection Structures and Transports in the Atlantic Ocean as Inferred from Satellite-Derived Salinity Maps. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 802.

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