Bay of Bengal: 2013 northeast monsoon upper-ocean circulation

Gordon, Arnold L.; Shroyer, Emily; Mahadevan, Amala; Sengupta, Debasis; Freilich, Mara

The upper 200 m of the two northern Indian Ocean embayments, the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and the Arabian Sea (AS), differ sharply in their salinity stratification, as the Asian monsoon injects massive amounts of freshwater into the BoB while removing freshwater via evaporation from the AS. The ocean circulation transfers salt from the AS to the BoB and exports freshwater from the BoB to mitigate the salinity difference and reach a quasi-steady state, albeit with strong seasonality. An energetic field of mesoscale features and an intrathermocline eddy was observed within the BoB during the R/V Revelle November and December 2013 Air-Sea Interactions Regional Initiative cruises, marking the early northeast monsoon phase. Mesoscale features, which display a surprisingly large thermohaline range within their confines, obscure the regional surface water and thermohaline stratification patterns, as observed by satellite and Argo profilers. Ocean processes blend the fresh and salty features along and across density surfaces, influencing sea surface temperature and air-sea flux. Comparing the Revelle observations to the Argo data reveals a general westward migration of mesoscale features across the BoB.

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Academic Units
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
The Oceanography Society
Published Here
July 27, 2016


Author's suggested citation: Gordon, A.L., E.L. Shroyer, A. Mahadevan, D. Sengupta, and M. Freilich. 2016. Bay of Bengal: 2013 northeast monsoon upper-ocean circulation. Oceanography 29(2):82–91,