The winter monsoon circulation of the northern Arabian Sea and Somali current.

Schott, Friedrich and Fischer, Jürgen (2000) The winter monsoon circulation of the northern Arabian Sea and Somali current. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 105 (C3). pp. 6359-6376. DOI 10.1029/1999JC900312.

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The winter monsoon circulation in the northern inflow region of the Somali Current is discussed on the basis of an array of moored acoustic Doppler current profiler and current meter stations deployed during 1995–1996 and a ship survey carried out in January 1998. It is found that the westward inflow into the Somali Current regime occurs essentially south of 11°N and that this inflow bifurcates at the Somali coast, with the southward branch supplying the equatorward Somali Current and the northward one returning into the northwestern Arabian Sea. This northward branch partially supplies a shallow outflow through the Socotra Passage between the African continent and the banks of Socotra and partially feeds into eastward recirculation directly along the southern slopes of Socotra. Underneath this shallow surface flow, southwestward undercurrent flows are observed. Undercurrent inflow from the Gulf of Aden through the Socotra Passage occurs between 100 and 1000 m, with its current core at 700–800 m, and is clearly marked by the Red Sea Water (RSW) salinity maximum. The observations suggest that the maximum RSW inflow out of the Gulf of Aden occurs during the winter monsoon season and uses the Socotra Passage as its main route into the Indian Ocean. Westward undercurrent inflow into the Somali Current regime is also observed south of Socotra, but this flow lacks the RSW salinity maximum. Off the Arabian peninsula, eastward boundary flow is observed in the upper 800 m with a compensating westward flow to the south. The observed circulation pattern is qualitatively compared with recent high-resolution numerical model studies and is found to be in basic agreement.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/1999JC900312
ISSN: 2169-9275
Projects: WOCE
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2018 09:23

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