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Observations of barrier layer formation in the Bay of Bengal during summer monsoon

Vinayachandran, PN and Murty, VSN and Babu, V Ramesh (2002) Observations of barrier layer formation in the Bay of Bengal during summer monsoon. In: Journal of Geophysical Research, 107 (C12).

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Official URL: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2002/2001JC000831...

Abstract

Time series of temperature and salinity in the upper ocean,measured at 17degrees30'N, 89degreesE in the northern Bay of Bengal,from 27 July to 6 August 1999 captured an event of upper layer freshening. Initially, the upper layer that is homogeneous in both temperature and salinity was about 30 m deep. Subsequently, the arrival of a freshwater plume caused the depth of the mixed layer to decrease to about 10 m and the salinity in the surface layer by about 4 psu. The plume led to the formation of a new halocline and hence a barrier layer within the upper 30 m of the water column. The ensuing ocean-atmosphere interaction was restricted to the new thinner mixed layer. The cooling that was restricted to the mixed layer led to an inversion in temperature amounting to 0.5degreesC just below the mixed layer. The source of the plume is traced to freshwater from river discharge and rainfall that was advected by Ekman flow as a 15 m thick layer. This study suggests that wind-driven circulation is crucial in determining the path of freshwater in the Bay of Bengal. The fresh water affects the sea surface temperature and ocean-atmosphere coupling through the dependence of the depth of the mixed layer on salinity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Oceanography;Physical;Upper ocean processes;Oceanography;Physical;Hydrography;Information Related to Geographic Region;Indian Ocean.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2009 11:09
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2009 11:09
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/16941

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