SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, Volume 59 , Issue 11 : 2213-2222(2016) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-016-0048-2

Estimating thermohaline variability of the equatorial Pacific Ocean from satellite altimetry

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  • ReceivedJun 13, 2016
  • AcceptedAug 10, 2016
  • PublishedSep 23, 2016



The TRITON data were provided by the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology. Comments from two anonymous reviewers are greatly appreciated. This research was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2012CB417400) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41576017 & U1406401).


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  • Figure 1

    The mean SSH field from AVISO product (contour lines with 5 cm interval) and the correlation between SSH and Argo-derived surface dynamic height relative to 2000 dbar (color map). Black dots denote the TRITON buoys with a pentagram highlighting the buoy at 0°, 147°E.

  • Figure 2

    Spline fits of TRITON temperature and salinity data at 0°, 147°E (dots) against ADT SSH values. The lower panels are resultant HGEM fields.

  • Figure 3

    Comparison of TRITON temperature and salinity measurements (dots) and HGEM estimates (lines) at 0°, 147°E.

  • Figure 4

    Periodogram calculated at each depth for TRITON temperature measurements at 0°, 147°E (a). (b) Vertically averaged power.

  • Figure 5

    Climatological seasonal cycle of temperature and salinity (annual mean removed) derived from TRITON data at 0°, 147°E.

  • Figure 6

    Lag-correlation between ADT SSH and TRITON temperature at 0°, 147°E, with negative correlation values below 450 dbar (a). Corresponding phase lead by SSH (b). The dashline represents correlation without phase lag.

  • Figure 7

    Normalized temperature data at 200 dbar and 500 dbar from TRITON buoy at 0°, 147°E. The 500 dbar temperature series has been inversed and shifted forward by 176 day to obtain an optimal correlation. For better view both temperature series are 30-day running mean.

  • Figure 8

    EGEM temperature and salinity fields at SSH=110 cm and their seasonal anomalies (lower panels).

  • Figure 9

    EGEM temperature fields at 200 dbar and 500 dbar.

  • Figure 10

    Comparison of TRITON temperature and salinity measurements (dots) and EGEM estimates (lines) at 0°, 147°E

  • Figure 11

    Percentage variance ratio for HGEM (dashline) and EGEM fields (solid line) at 0°, 147°E.

  • Figure 12

    Temperature percentage variance ratio distribution at 500 dbar for HGEM, EGEM and their difference (left panels). The right panels are for salinity.

  • Table 1   Lag correlation between 200 dbar and 500 dbar for TRITON temperature data during 2000–2013





    137°E, 8°N




    137°E, 5°N




    138°E, 2°N




    138°E, 0




    147°E, 5°N




    147°E, 2°N




    147°E, 0




    156°E, 8°N




    156°E, 5°N




    156°E, 2°N




    156°E, 0




    156°E, 2°S




    156°E, 5°S




    Here cor0 is correlation without time lag, and mcor is the optimal correlation with time lag in days (positive lag value means 200 dbar leads 500 dbar). The 99% significance level of correlation is 0.04. Difference between cor0 and mcor is considered to be significant when it is larger than 0.1.


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