Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marine Science

Committee Chair

Stephan D.Howden

Committee Chair Department

Marine Science

Committee Member 2

Robert A. Arnone

Committee Member 2 Department

Marine Science

Committee Member 3

Dmitri A. Nechaev

Committee Member 3 Department

Marine Science

Committee Member 4

Jerry D. Wiggert

Committee Member 4 Department

Marine Science

Committee Member 5

Joel Wesson


Measurement of sea surface salinity (SSS) from Satellite borne L-band (1.4 GHz, 21cm) radiometers (NASA Aquarius/SAC-D and ESA SMOS) in the East China Sea (ECS) is challenging due to the uncertainty of SSS caused by land thermal emissions in the antenna side lobes and because of strong radio frequency interference (RFI) due to illegally emitted man-made sources. RFI contamination in the ECS has gradually decreased because of the on-going international efforts to eliminate broadcasts in the protected L-band radio-astronomy frequency band. The present dissertation focuses on carefully eliminating the remaining RFI contamination in retrieved SSS, and masking out regions close to the coast that are likely contaminated by thermal emissions from the land. Afterward, observation of SSS during the summer monsoon season in the ECS was conducted to demonstrate low salinity (< 28 psu) Changjiang Diluted Water (CDW) which is a mixture of Changjiang River (CR) plume mixing and the ambient ocean water causing ecosystem disruptions as far east as the Korean peninsula. In this study, during southeasterly wind, CDW was observed to be horizontally advected east-northeastward due to Ekman flow. In addition, monthly averaged Aquarius SSS presented one-month lagged robust relationship with freshwater flux. Despite limits on temporal information of SMOS, the detachment of CDW from its formation region and northeastward advection was successfully observed after the arrival of the tropical storm Matmo in the mainland China.