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Dynamics of ocean surface mixed layer variability in the Indian Ocean
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-19, 07:27 authored by Andreas SchillerAndreas Schiller, Oke, PR
We present a new methodology that allows quantifying the impact of individual terms of the temperature and salinity conservation within the mixed layer on mixed layer depth (MLD). The method is applied to output from an ocean general circulation model in the Indian Ocean to investigate variability and changes in MLD. On seasonal timescales and for most areas of the Indian Ocean variability of MLD is tightly linked to all thermohaline budget terms. In the Indian Ocean at approximately 20°S the MLD covaries with surface heat and freshwater fluxes on intraseasonal and interannual timescales. The geography of the region includes the Leeuwin Current, plus the tropical eastern Indian Ocean for interannual surface freshwater fluxes. The range of seasonal amplitudes of MLD variability varies with individual budget terms but is typically within 1 m/month to 100 m/month. The ocean footprints of an intraseasonal tropical cyclone, tropical and midlatitude seasonal temperature and salinity budgets and interannual variability associated with the Indian Ocean Dipole Mode are analyzed. The results reveal close relationships of the thermohaline budgets within the mixed layer with the variability of the MLD. The associated tendencies of changes in MLD are consistent with Argo and satellite-based observations of tendencies within the mixed layer and sea-surface temperature and salinity.
Publication titleJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Place of publication111 River St, Hoboken, NJ 07030 United States