Aquarius Sea Surface Salinity Tour 2012

The Aquarius spacecraft is designed to measure global sea surface salinity. It is important to understand salinity, the amount of dissolved salts in water, because it will lead us to better understanding of the water cycle and can lead to improved climate models. Aquarius is a collaboration between NASA and the Space Agency of Argentina

This visualization celebrates over a year of successful Aquarius observations. Sea surface salinity is shown at various locations around the globe highlighting the following:

  • the Atlantic Ocean is generally much more salty than the Pacific
  • low salinity waters in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific are transported westward
  • high influxes of fresh water from the Amazon River basin can be clearly seen
  • low salinity waters are transported by the Labrador current to the south
  • high influxes of fresh water from the Ganges River basin can be seen keeping the Eastern Indian Ocean lower salinity than the Western Indian Ocean

The range of time shown is December 2011 through Decemeber 2012. The data continuously loops through this range every 6 seconds. This visualization was generated based on version 2.0 of the Aquarius data products with all 3 scanning beams.

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Visualization Credits

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Chris Meaney (HTSI): Narrator
Maria-Jose Vinas Garcia (Telophase Corp): Narrator
Kayvon Sharghi (USRA): Producer
Gary Lagerloef (ESR): Scientist
Gene Feldman (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Norman Kuring (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
Aquarius/Microwave Radiometer/Sea Surface Salinity None

This item is part of these series:
Narrated Movies

GCMD >> Earth Science >> Oceans >> Salinity/Density >> Salinity
SVS >> Hyperwall
DLESE >> Narrated
SVS >> Spanish
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Presentation

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version