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.
A Spanish language narrated tour of Aquarius sea surface salinity data highlighting interesting features including: the North Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, Amazon outflow, Labrador current, and Indian Ocean.
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 22.214.171.124.0