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Satellite Observations of the Sea Surface Salinity Response to Tropical Cyclones

Abstract : Decade-long satellite sea surface slinity (SSS) observations show that rain dilution prevails in wakes of tropical depressions (∼-0.1 pss) and tropical storms (∼-0.05 pss) on the left (right) side of Northern (Southern) Hemisphere storms. For stronger storms, the rain-induced dilution is dominated by the saltier water entrainment, leading to surface median salinification of 0.3 pss for the most intense storms, peaking on the right-hand side at around twice the maximum wind radius. The magnitude of the salty wake increases for stronger slowly moving storms. The vertical salinity gradient in the upper ocean is a key factor explaining the geographic distribution of the SSS response. A striking example is the systematic mixing of fresh near-surface river plume waters with saltier subsurface waters. It is also found that barrier layers lead to saltier and warmer storm wakes compared to wakes produced over barrier layer free areas.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - 4:39:13 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 3:39:00 AM

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Nicolas Reul, Bertrand Chapron, Semyon A. Grodsky, Sebastien Guimbard, Vladimir Kudryavtsev, et al.. Satellite Observations of the Sea Surface Salinity Response to Tropical Cyclones. Geophysical Research Letters, 2021, 48, ⟨10.1029/2020GL091478⟩. ⟨insu-03683276⟩

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