Degree Name

BS in Earth Sciences


Earth and Soil Sciences Department


Gregory S. Bohr


The purpose of this project was to compare spline and inverse distance weighting interpolation tools on data collected in the tropical Pacific Ocean by ship and data from a global network of CTD floats, known as Argo floats (fig.1), to provide evidence that technological advancement and integration is aiding our understanding of the ocean-atmosphere system of planet Earth. Thirty-one sea surface temperature and salinity samples were manually taken across a 9,000 nautical mile trek of the Pacific Ocean for the months of April, May and June 2008. Argo ASCII globally gridded monthly averaged sea surface temperature and salinity data, from conductivity, temperature and density floats was downloaded and converted into a form projectable in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The two types of data, for the same time frame, were used to evaluate raster tools: inverse distance weighting and spline. The study concluded that the two interpolation methods yield the same correlation and are not significantly different. Most of all, this study is a prime example that cutting-edge technology is now consistent in differing methods, our knowledge can keep pace with global climate change through these technologies and that the ocean-atmosphere system is highly complex.