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Seasonal and interannual variations of upper ocean heat balance off

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 23:54 authored by Feng, M
The Leeuwin Current, a warm, poleward flowing eastern boundary current, dominates the surface circulation off the west coast of Australia and has profound influence on regional marine ecosystem and fisheries recruitment. In this study, the seasonal and interannual variations of upper ocean heat balance in the Leeuwin Current region are analyzed by using an eddy-resolving numerical model simulation, as a first step to quantify the climate impacts on regional ocean thermodynamics and marine ecosystem. The volume transport and heat advection of the Leeuwin Current are stronger during the austral winter on the seasonal cycle and are stronger during a La Nina event on the interannual scale. On both seasonal and interannual timescales, the mixed layer heat budget off the west coast of Australia is predominantly balanced between the variations of the Leeuwin Current heat advection and heat flux across the air-sea interface. On the interannual timescale, the variation of the Leeuwin Current heat advection tends to lead that of the air-sea (latent) heat flux by two months, which is likely a reflection of advection timescales of the Leeuwin Current and its eddy field. The interannual variation of the average February–April sea surface temperature off the west coast of Australia, which is crucial for the larval settlement of western rock lobster, is mostly influenced by the Leeuwin Current heat advection as well as the ocean memory from the previous austral winter, with the air-sea heat exchange playing a buffering role.


Publication title

Journal of Geophysical Research










American Geophysical Union

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

©. American Geophysical Union 1998

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)

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