Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 28 Issue 01

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Volume 28, No. 1
Pages 66 - 77


Variability in Near-Surface Salinity from Hours to Decades in the Eastern North Atlantic: The SPURS Region

Stephen C. Riser Jessica AndersonAndrey ShcherbinaEric D’Asaro
Article Abstract

We examine the variability of near-surface salinity in a 10° × 10° region of the eastern North Atlantic, the location of the first part of the Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study (SPURS-1). The data used were collected over a two-year period, largely by a group of two types of profiling floats equipped with sensors that record high-resolution temperature and salinity measurements in the upper few meters of the water column. By comparing the SPURS-1 measurements to observations in the area from previous decades, we examine variability at time scales ranging from a few hours (mostly consisting of rainfall-driven decreases in salinity) to diurnal cycles in temperature and salinity, seasonal variability and the annual cycle, and finally to decadal-scale changes. The relationship of near-surface salinity to the hydrological cycle suggests a continuous spectrum of variability in this cycle from hours to decades.


Riser, S.C., J. Anderson, A. Shcherbina, and E. D’Asaro. 2015. Variability in near-surface salinity from hours to decades in the eastern North Atlantic: The SPURS region. Oceanography 28(1):66–77, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2015.11.


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