Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 287–304 | Cite as

High-resolution surface salinity maps in coastal oceans based on geostationary ocean color images: quantitative analysis of river plume dynamics

  • Satoshi Nakada
  • Shiho Kobayashi
  • Masataka Hayashi
  • Joji Ishizaka
  • Satoshi Akiyama
  • Masaki Fuchi
  • Masaki Nakajima
Original Article


Sea surface salinity (SSS) in coastal oceans is a direct indicator of riverine plumes and provides essential information about the ocean environment and ecosystem, which affects coastal fisheries, aquaculture, and marine harvests. However, to accurately capture SSS patterns in coastal oceans, high temporal and spatial resolutions are required. This paper introduces a methodology to produce high-resolution (~ 500 m) SSS maps for analysis of river plumes in coastal oceans based on hourly chromophoric dissolved organic matter data collected by the Geostationary Ocean Color Imager. Osaka Bay, located in the eastern Seto Inland Sea, was selected as a pilot region. A comparison between the initial estimates and calibrated SSS data showed a substantial decrease in estimation error, by up to 71%, over a wide range of salinity (20–34) using in situ SSS data collected through an automated observation system. Calculating the salinity anomaly based on the SSS map to identify plume areas, we evaluated the impact of a large runoff event induced by a super typhoon on the river plumes. After the plume formed in the estuary, it extended southward to the bay mouth along the southeastern coast. The plume area during the post-typhoon period covered half of the bay, approximately 1.5 times the area during the pre-typhoon period. The post-typhoon, low-SSS period continued for approximately 2 weeks. Our approach can be of practical use for analyzing the dynamics of river plumes in coastal oceans, leading to the development of coastal ocean prediction models related to operational oceanography.


Sea surface salinity Coastal oceans Chromophoric dissolved organic matter River plume Typhoon Geostationary ocean color satellite Osaka Bay 



This work was supported primarily by the Fund of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (nos. 26887025, 16K13882) and the Kurita Water and Environment Foundation (KWEF), Japan, and was carried out in part by the Collaborative Research Program of Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University and the joint research program of the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research (ISEE), Nagoya University. The authors sincerely thank Dr. T. Yanagi in the EMECS center and Prof. M. Hayashi at Kobe University for their comments. Part of this work used the computational resources of the supercomputer ACCMS, Kyoto University. We deeply appreciate the constructive comments from two anonymous reviewers and editor, Prof. T. Hirawake.

Supplementary material

10872_2017_459_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3354 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Maritime ScienceKobe UniversityKobeJapan
  2. 2.Field Science Education and Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Science and Technology Co., Ltd.NagoyaJapan
  4. 4.Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research (ISEE)Nagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  5. 5.Research Institute of Environment, Agriculture and FisheriesOsakaJapan
  6. 6.International Maritime Research CentreKobe UniversityKobeJapan

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