Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

SMAP and CalCOFI Observe Freshening During the 2014-2016 Northeast Pacific Warm Anomaly

Version 1 : Received: 10 July 2018 / Approved: 10 July 2018 / Online: 10 July 2018 (13:41:28 CEST)

How to cite: Vazquez, J.; Gomez-Valdes, J. SMAP and CalCOFI Observe Freshening During the 2014-2016 Northeast Pacific Warm Anomaly. Preprints 2018, 2018070181 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0181.v1). Vazquez, J.; Gomez-Valdes, J. SMAP and CalCOFI Observe Freshening During the 2014-2016 Northeast Pacific Warm Anomaly. Preprints 2018, 2018070181 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0181.v1).

Abstract

Data from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP) and from the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) were used to examine the freshening that occurred during 2015-2016 in the Southern California Current System. Overall the freshening was found to be related to the 2014-2016 Northeast Pacific Warm Anomaly. The primary goal was to determine the feasibility of using SMAP data to observe the surface salinity signal associated with the warming. As a first step direct comparisons were done with salinity from the CalCOFI data at one-meter depth. During 2015 SMAP was saltier than CalCOFI by 0.5 PSU, but biases were reduced to < 0.1 PSU during 2016. South of 33°N, and within 100 km of the coast, SMAP was fresher in 2015 by almost 0.2 PSU. CalCOFI showed freshening of 0.1 PSU. North of 33°N SMAP and CalCOFI saw significant freshening in 2016, SMAP by 0.4 PSU and CalCOFI by 0.2 PSU. Differences between SMAP and CalCOFI are consistent with the increased stratification in 2015 and changes in the mixed layer depth.

Subject Areas

Salinity; Coastal; Upwelling; Validation

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