Winter and summer monsoon water mass, heat and freshwater transport changes in the Arabian Sea near 8°N.

Stramma, Lothar , Brandt, Peter , Schott, Friedrich, Quadfasel, Detlef and Fischer, Jürgen (2002) Winter and summer monsoon water mass, heat and freshwater transport changes in the Arabian Sea near 8°N. Deep-Sea Research Part II-Topical Studies in Oceanography, 49 . pp. 1173-1195. DOI 10.1016/S0967-0645(01)00169-2.

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The differences in the water mass distributions and transports in the Arabian Sea between the summer monsoon of August 1993 and the winter monsoon of January 1998 are investigated, based on two hydrographic sections along approximately 8°N. At the western end the sections were closed by a northward leg towards the African continent at about 55°E. In the central basin along 8°N the monsoon anomalies of the temperature and density below the surface-mixed layer were dominated by annual Rossby waves propagating westward across the Arabian Sea. In the northwestern part of the basin the annual Rossby waves have much smaller impact, and the density anomalies observed there were mostly associated with the Socotra Gyre. Salinity and oxygen differences along the section reflect local processes such as the spreading of water masses originating in the Bay of Bengal, northward transport of Indian Central Water, or slightly stronger southward spreading of Red Sea Water in August than in January. The anomalous wind conditions of 1997/98 influenced only the upper 50–100 m with warmer surface waters in January 1998, and Bay of Bengal Water covered the surface layer of the section in the eastern Arabian Sea. Estimates of the overturning circulation of the Arabian Sea were carried out despite the fact that many uncertainties are involved. For both cruises a vertical overturning cell of about 4–6 Sv was determined, with inflow below 2500 m and outflow between about 300 and 2500 m. In the upper 300–450 m a seasonally reversing shallow meridional overturning cell appears to exist in which the Ekman transport is balanced by a geostrophic transport. The heat flux across 8°N is dominated by the Ekman transport, yielding about –0.6 PW for August 1993, and 0.24 PW for January 1998. These values are comparable to climatological and model derived heat flux estimates. Freshwater fluxes across 8°N also were computed, yielding northward freshwater fluxes of 0.07 Sv in January 1998 and 0.43 Sv in August 1993. From climatological salinities the stronger freshwater flux in August was found to be caused by the seasonal change of salinity storage in the Arabian Sea north of 8°N. The near-surface circulation follows complex pathways, with generally cyclonic-circulation in January 1998 affected at the eastern side by the Laccadive High, and anticyclonic circulation in August 1993.

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.: 10.1016/S0967-0645(01)00169-2
ISSN: 0967-0645
Projects: WOCE, CLIVAR
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2017 13:37

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