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Hydrographic observations and model simulation of the Bay of Bengal freshwater plume

Vinayachandran, PN and Kurian, Jalson (2007) Hydrographic observations and model simulation of the Bay of Bengal freshwater plume. In: Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 54 (4). pp. 471-486.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2007.01.007


Hydrographic observations were taken along two coastal sections and one open ocean section in the Bay of Bengal during the 1999 southwest monsoon, as a part of the Bay of Bengal Monsoon Experiment (BOBMEX). The coastal section in the northwestern Bay of Bengal, which was occupied twice, captured a freshwater plume in its two stages: first when the plume was restricted to the coastal region although separated from the coast, and then when the plume spread offshore. Below the freshwater layer there were indications of an undercurrent. The coastal section in the southern Bay of Bengal was marked by intense coastal upwelling in a 50 km wide band. In regions under the influence of the freshwater plume, the mixed layer was considerably thinner and occasionally led to the formation of a temperature inversion. The mixed layer and isothermal layer were of similar depth for most of the profiles within and outside the freshwater plume and temperature below the mixed layer decreased rapidly till the top of seasonal thermocline. There was no barrier layer even in regions well under the influence of the freshwater plume. The freshwater plume in the open Bay of Bengal does not advect to the south of 16 degrees N during the southwest monsoon. A model of the Indian Ocean, forced by heat, momentum and freshwater fluxes for the year 1999, reproduces the freshwater plume in the Bay of Bengal reasonably well. Model currents as well as the surface circulation calculated as the sum of geostrophic and Ekman drift show a southeastward North Bay Monsoon Current (NBMC) across the Bay, which forms the southern arm of a cyclonic gyre. The NBMC separates the very low salinity waters of the northern Bay from the higher salinities in the south and thus plays an important role in the regulation of near surface stratification. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Depositing User: Ms G Yashodha
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2010 07:11
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:57
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/26355

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