Hydrographic characterization of southeast Arabian Sea during the wane of southwest monsoon and spring intermonsoon
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Seasonal variation of the hydrography along the southeast Arabian Sea is described using data collected onboard FORV Sagar Sampada in September-October 2003 (later phase of Southwest monsoon, SWM) and March-April 2004 (Spring inter monsoon, SIM). During the later phase of the SWM, upwelling was in the withdrawal phase and the frontal structure was clearer in the northern sections (13 and 15 degrees N lat) indicating strong upwelling in the area. The driving force of upwelling is identified as the combination of alongshore wind stress and remote forcing with a latitudinal variability. Although a more prominent upwelling was found in the north, a maximum surface Chlorophyll-a was found in the south (10 degrees N). During the SIM, the area was characterized by oligotrophic water with relatively high Sea Surface Temperature (more than 29 degrees C) and low salinity (33.8 to 35.4). During March, the surface hydrography was found to be controlled mainly by the intrusion of low-saline waters from the south, while during September by the high saline water from the north. The presence of various water masses (Arabian Sea High Salinity Water (ASHSW), Persian Gulf Water (PGW), Red Sea Water (RSW)] and their seasonal variations in the region is discussed and their decreasing influence towards the south is noted during both periods of observation. During the SWM, the dynamic topography showed the equatorward flow of the West India Coastal Current (WICC) at the surface and a poleward coastal under current at sub-thermocline depth. During the SIM, surface circulation revealed the WICC flowing pole-ward north of 13 degrees N, but equatorward flow in the south, with a clockwise circulation around the Lakshadweep High.
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