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Dynamics of summer monsoon current around Sri Lanka

Rath, Subham and Vinayachandran, PN and Behara, Ambica and Neema, CP (2019) Dynamics of summer monsoon current around Sri Lanka. In: OCEAN DYNAMICS, 69 (10). pp. 1133-1154.

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1007/s10236-019-01295-x


From June-September, the summer monsoon current (SMC) flows eastward south of Sri Lanka and bends northeastward to form a swift jet that enters the Bay of Bengal (BoB). This part of SMC serves as the major component of the water exchange between the Arabian Sea and the BoB, maintaining the salt and freshwater of the North Indian Ocean. The processes that determine the evolution, intensification, and meandering of the SMC involve both local and remote forcing by winds. Interactions of the SMC with westward-propagating Rossby waves and eddies are only partly understood. In this study, we investigate these processes using an Indian Ocean general circulation model (MOM4p1) that is capable of simulating the SMC realistically. Because eddies and meanders are smoothed out in the climatology, our analyses focus on a single year of 2009, a period when a strong anticyclonic bend in the SMC was observed. An eddy-kinetic-energy budget analysis shows the region to be a zone of significant eddy activity, where both barotropic and baroclinic instabilities are active. Based on the analysis, we classify the evolution of SMC into stages of onset, intensification, anticyclonic bend, anticyclonic vortex formation, meandering, and termination. In addition, analysis of eddy-potential-vorticity flux and eddy-enstrophy decay reveal when, where, and how the eddies tend to drive the mean flow. Rossby waves and westward-propagating eddies arriving from the east energize the SMC in June and accelerate the mean flow through an up-gradient eddy-potential-vorticity flux. At the same time, local winds also strengthen the flow, by increasing its mean near-surface kinetic energy and raising isopycnals, the latter building up available potential energy (APE). The baroclinic instability that takes place in late July and early August releases APE, thereby generating the SMC meanders.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to SPRINGER HEIDELBERG
Keywords: Summer monsoon current; Eddy kinetic energy budget; Eddy activity; Barotropic and baroclinic instabilities
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2020 09:30
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2020 09:30
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/63846

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