Sea Surface Salinity from SMAP, October 2015

Friday, March 17, 2017

Global image of sea surface salinity (SSS) from the SMAP (Soil Moisture Active/Passsive) satellite observatory.  The image is an 8-day composite for the period centered around October 1, 2015.  It is based on the JPL SMAP-SSS Combined Active/Passive (CAP) level 3, 8-day running mean dataset, gridded at 0.25 x 0.25degree resolution and available via the PO.DAAC (  The image shows global patterns in surface salinity and its variability between ocean basins and at more regional scales.  These include very high salinity regions (darker red) in the eastern Mediterranean and Arabian Seas, very low salinity areas (darker blue) around the Bay of Bengal an Scotian Shelf, the salinity maximium, low rainfall region on the central North Atlantic, and the fresher, higher rainfall ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) area of the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

Notable dynamic circulation features are also visible, including most prominently the Amazon River plume with its eastward extension across the Atlantic along the North Equatorial Counter Current.