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Remote Sensing of Ocean Salinity: Results from the Delaware Coastal Current Experiment

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  • 1 Goddard Space Flight Center, Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • | 2 College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
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Abstract

A comparison is presented of remote and shipboard measurements of sea surface salinity made in the vicinity of the Delaware coastal current, a low salinity band with its source in the mouth of Delaware Bay. The remote sensing measurements were made from an aircraft with the Electronically Scanned Thinned Array Radiometer. The shipboard measurements were made with a thermosalinograph on board the R/V Cape Henlopen. On 29–30 April 1993, the R/V Cape Henlopen sailed from the mouth of Delaware Bay south toward Chesapeake Bay in an east–west zig-zag pattern, repeatedly crossing the coastal current. The aircraft, a NASA P-3, flew the same lines on the afternoon of 30 April. Both thermosalinograph- and microwave radiometer–derived salinity maps clearly show the freshwater signature of the coastal current and generally are in agreement to within about 1 psu.

Corresponding author address: Mr. David M. Le Vine, Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771.

Email: dmlevine@meneg.gsfc.nasa.gov

Abstract

A comparison is presented of remote and shipboard measurements of sea surface salinity made in the vicinity of the Delaware coastal current, a low salinity band with its source in the mouth of Delaware Bay. The remote sensing measurements were made from an aircraft with the Electronically Scanned Thinned Array Radiometer. The shipboard measurements were made with a thermosalinograph on board the R/V Cape Henlopen. On 29–30 April 1993, the R/V Cape Henlopen sailed from the mouth of Delaware Bay south toward Chesapeake Bay in an east–west zig-zag pattern, repeatedly crossing the coastal current. The aircraft, a NASA P-3, flew the same lines on the afternoon of 30 April. Both thermosalinograph- and microwave radiometer–derived salinity maps clearly show the freshwater signature of the coastal current and generally are in agreement to within about 1 psu.

Corresponding author address: Mr. David M. Le Vine, Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771.

Email: dmlevine@meneg.gsfc.nasa.gov

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