Analysis of Seasonal Current Variations in the Western Equatorial Indian Ocean: Direct Measurements and GFDL Model Comparison

Visbeck, Martin and Schott, Friedrich (1992) Analysis of Seasonal Current Variations in the Western Equatorial Indian Ocean: Direct Measurements and GFDL Model Comparison Journal of Physical Oceanography, 22 (10). pp. 1112-1128. DOI 10.1175/1520-0485(1992)022<1112:AOSCVI>2.0.CO;2.

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Abstract

The seasonal cycles found in moored current measurements in the equatorial Somali Current region and along the equator between 50° and 60°E are compared with the multilayer Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory model for the tropical Indian Ocean. The remote forcing of Somali Current transport variations by incident long equatorial waves from the equatorial interior subthermocline region is investigated by analyzing the model velocities of annual and semiannual period. Amplitudes and phases of linear equatorial Rossby and Kelvin waves were least-squares fitted to the model velocities between 5°S and 5°N, 55° and 86°E from 100-m to 1000-m depth. Two cases of wave fits are distinguished: the “free” Kelvin wave case, where the Kelvin waves were fitted independently, and the “reflected” Kelvin wave case, where they were coupled to the Rossby waves by the western boundary condition for a straight slanted (45° to the north) coastline. The wave field velocities explained 70% of the spatial variance in the equatorial model subregion and also compared reasonably well with observed current variations along the equator. At the western boundary, the short-wave alongshore transport due to reflected incident long waves was determined and found to be antisymmetric about the equator. The maximum transport variation for the semiannual period due to the short waves was about 5 × 106 m3 s−1 between 150- and 800-m depth at 3° north and south of the equator. Observational evidence for the western boundary transport variations and the sensitivity to changes in the incident wave field are discussed.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1175/1520-0485(1992)022<1112:AOSCVI>2.0.CO;2
ISSN: 0022-3670
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:27
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013 12:58
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/3401

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