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Seasonal characteristics of circulation in the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 19:37 authored by Qu, T, Meyers, GA
The circulation in the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean is studied using historical temperature and salinity data. A southward shift of the subtropical gyre at increasing depth dominates the structure of the annual mean circulation. Near the southern Indonesian coast the westward South Equatorial Current (SEC) is at the sea surface and strongest near 10°-11°S, reflecting strong influence of the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF). In latitudes 13°-25°S the SEC is a subsurface flow and its velocity core deepens toward the south, falling below 500 m at 25°S. The eastern gyral current (EGC) is a surface flow overlying the SEC, associated with the meridional gradients of near-surface temperature and salinity. The ITF supplies water to the SEC mainly in the upper 400 m, and below that depth the flow is reversed along the coast of Sumatra and Java. Monsoon winds strongly force the annual variation in circulation. Dynamic height at the sea surface has a maximum amplitude at 10°-13°S, and the maximum at deeper levels is located farther south. Annual variation is also strong in the coastal waveguides, but is mainly confined to the near-surface layer. Although the South Java Current at the sea surface is not well resolved in the present dataset, semiannual variation is markedly evident at depth and tends to extend much deeper than the annual variation along the coast of Sumatra and Java.


Publication title

Journal of Physical Oceanography








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


American Meteorological Society

Place of publication

United States

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Social impacts of climate change and variability

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