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Water mass properties and transports in the Arabian Sea from Argo observations

Chowdary, JS and Gnanaseelan, C and Thompson, B and Salvekar, PS (2005) Water mass properties and transports in the Arabian Sea from Argo observations. Journal of Atmospheric and Ocean Science, 10 (3). pp. 235-260.

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Abstract

The information acquired from Argo floats such as temperature and salinity profiles is used to study water mass properties in the Arabian Sea from 2002 to 2004. An examination of water mass structure at different locations reveals the presence of high salinity water of marginal seas in the Arabian Sea. During the southwest monsoon season, the impact of the early onset of southwesterlies is noticed in the upper ocean temperature and salinity structure over the Western Arabian Sea (WAS) during 2002. Surface density variations are found to be more during the southwest monsoon season due to strong wind forcing. Argo temperature and salinity profiles showed that the winter cooling and the formation of Arabian Sea High Salinity Water (ASHSW) over the Northern Arabian Sea (NAS) began during the second half of November within the upper 100 m depth. In the NAS, the Persian Gulf Water (PGW) salinity is above 36, as PGW moves towards the south along isopycnal layer of 26.6σθ (σθ is potential density) salinity decreases. It is observed that the PGW high salinity water is not continuously prominent over the WAS in 2002 and in 2003. In the WAS the 27.2σθ isopycnal layer depth, corresponding to Red Sea Water (RSW), did not exactly follow the pattern of isotherms as is seen in the northern and eastern Arabian Sea. The variability related to RSW salinity is due to the underwater currents. The present study also confirms that RSW is prominent in the southeast Arabian Sea at the potential density of 27.2 with a maximum in summer monsoon compared to other seasons. The observed peak in the salinity at 27.2 density level during the spring intermonsoon is due to the influence of winter time spreading of RSW to the south of Socotra in 2002. Westward movement of Argo floats in the region east of Socotra during the winter is evident in both the observations and model studies. Water mass properties change when they move away from their source region due to the consistent horizontal advection. The changes in the water mass properties along the Argo float trajectory are confirmed by comparing with the climatological mean monthly values from the World Ocean Atlas 2001 data set.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Taylor & Francis
Uncontrolled Keywords: monsoon; salinity; temperature; water mass, Arabian Sea; Indian Ocean
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2015 04:11
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2015 04:11
URI: http://moeseprints.incois.gov.in/id/eprint/1405

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