Modeling the barrier-layer formation in the South-Eastern Arabian Sea
DeBoyer Montegut, C.
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The effect of salinity on the formation of the barrier layer (BL) in the South-Eastern Arabian Sea (SEAS) is investigated using an ocean general circulation model. In accordance with previous studies, the runoff distribution and the India-Sri Lanka passage have a strong impact on the realism of the salinity simulated in the area at seasonal time scales. The model simulates a BL pattern in fairly good agreement with available observations. Eulerian and Lagrangian approaches show that the BL is formed by two complementary processes, the arrival of low-salinity surface waters that are cooled en route to the SEAS and downwelling of waters mostly local to the SEAS in the subsurface layers. The surface waters are partly of Bay-of-Bengal origin and are partly from the SEAS, but are cooled east and south of Sri Lanka in the model. That the downwelled subsurface waters are warm and are not cooled leads to temperature inversions in the BL. The main forcing for this appears to be remotely-forced planetary waves.
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