Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Marine Science

Major Professor

Xinfeng Liang, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Don P. Chambers, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rui M. Ponte, Ph.D.


ocean climate, freshwater flux, sea ice, global water cycle


Salinity is one of the fundamental ocean state variables. Variations of ocean salinity can be used to infer changes in the global water cycle and air-sea freshwater exchange. Many institutions have developed gridded Argo products of global coverage. However, the existing gridded salinity products have not yet been dedicatedly intercompare and assessed. In this study, the mean state, annual and interannual variabilities, and decadal changes of ocean salinity from five Argo-based gridded salinity products, available from UK Met Office, JAMSTEC, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, China Second Institute of Oceanography, and International Pacific Research Center, are examined and compared for their overlapping period of 2005-2015 within two depth intervals (0-700 m and 700-2000 m), as well as the sea surface. Though some global and regional features are relatively reproducible, obvious discrepancies are found particularly for the deeper layer. These discrepancies are not apparent on the 11-year climatological mean or the trend patterns, but are readily evident on temporal variations. For instance, the potentially undersampled current systems in the North Atlantic and Southern Ocean are one of the main reasons for the observed discrepancies. The gridded products from Scripps, JAMSTEC and Met Office show large deviation from the ensemble mean, particularly in regions like the Atlantic Ocean and the tropical Pacific. Large disagreements are found in the first and final years, which can lead to different estimates on decadal trends. This study can serve as a useful reference on how to utilize and improve the existing gridded salinity products.

Included in

Oceanography Commons