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Science Meetings

SMOS Pilot-Mission Exploitation Platform (Pi-MEP): Project Overview
Sabia, R., Mecklenburg, S., Reul, N., Guimbard, S., and Laur, H. (25-May-17)

The global database of Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) observations is rapidly expanding now as a result of new satellite measurement capabilities (ESA’s Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity, SMOS, and the NASA Aquarius and SMAP missions) and other enhancements to the global observing system (e.g., the Argo float array, TSG, drifters...). Given the novelty of the satellite SSS data, the current user and science communities being interested in these data over the ocean are mostly connected to the mission expert team and centers. The main reason of the currently limited growth of the user community for this important Essential Climate Variable (ECV) first estimated from space is linked to the fact that these complex data are rather new and that data quality still needs to be improved and/or to be better understood, and characterized, for applications. In that context, the recent SMOS Pilot-Mission Exploitation Platform (Pi-MEP) project principal objective will be to perform a systematic assessment of SMOS SSS data quality (at L2, L3 & L4) by systematically compare each product with relevant in situ data (ARGO, TSG, moorings, drifters...). Production of match-up database products of SMOS/in situ data and intercomparison reports between products (bias, RMS difference, spectral analyses, correlation with other variables, pdfs…) at different time and spatial scales (seasonal, interannual, regional, global, …) will be provided via user interface tools allowing visualization and/or user-driven extractions. The Pi-MEP is also thought to be a dedicated hub for the SMOS (SSS) mission providing links and access to other satellite (Aquarius, SMAP), in situ SSS (ISAS, EN4, JAMSTEC…) and other thematic datasets (precipitation, evaporation, currents, sea level anomalies, SST…).

The platform will also provide a monitoring of SSS for selected oceanographic case studies:
  • Horizontal salinity transport and mesoscale structure signature in western boundary currents (Gulf Stream, North Brazilian Current, Kuroshio and/or Agulhas)
  • Large tropical river plumes monitoring: Amazon, Congo and Mississippi
  • Important fresh water cycle area (salinity, E-P, vertically integrated fresh water content…) under the intertropical convergent zones (Pacific, Atlantic and Indian ocean) and subtropical gyres evaporative zones
  • SSS variability with Climate indexes: El Niño/La Niña, Indian Ocean Dipole
  • Upwelling areas: Equatorial upwelling, Costa Rica dome, and Panama
  • Tropical instability waves monitoring (eastern Pacific and Atlantic); Bio-geochemistry processes (ocean acidification, pCO2…) in key areas (e.g., Bay of Bengal, Barent sea and Amazon plume influence)
  • High latitude (southern ocean) and semin-enclosed seas (Mediterranean sea).
In this talk, the current state of the initial phase of the Pi-MEP project regarding the collected datasets, visualization and extraction tools and a non-exhaustive list of oceanographic process studies will be presented.