The Western boundary current of the seasonal subtropical gyre in the Bay of Bengal

Shetye, S. R. ; Gouveia, A. D. ; Shenoi, S. S. C. ; Sundar, D. ; Michael, G. S. ; Nampoothiri, G. (1993) The Western boundary current of the seasonal subtropical gyre in the Bay of Bengal Journal of Geophysical Research, 98 (C1). pp. 945-954. ISSN 0148-0227

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Hydrographic data collected during March-April 1991 show the presence of a poleward current along the western boundary of the Bay of Bengal north of about 10° N carrying warrrier waters of southern origin. The inshore side of the current was marked by cooler, more saline waters brought to the surface due to the presence of the current which transported approximately 10 × 106 m3/s. The hydrography is suggestive of many of the features that have been associated with the western boundary currents of the subtropical gyres of the world oceans: a recirculation zone, waves, eddies, etc. These features, however, were not satisfactorily resolved in the data. Using available climatologies of monthly mean ship drifts, seasonal hydrography, and monthly mean wind stress, we propose that the poleward current is the western boundary current of a seasonal anticyclonic subtropical gyre which forms in the Bay during January, is best developed during March-April, and decays by June. The gyre and the western boundary current are unique because of their seasonal character. The pattern of circulation leading to formation and decay of the gyre is reproduced reasonably well in the computation of the monthly mean barotropic transport induced by the curl of wind stress, which has a well-defined annual cycle due to the monsoons and which is conducive to the formation of an anticyclonic gyre only during the months of January-May. The pattern of circulation due to baroclinic transport induced by the wind stress curl, however, is not known at present, and this makes it difficult to conclude unequivocally that the wind stress curl over the bay is the sole mechanism to force the gyre.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Geophysical Union.
ID Code:54066
Deposited On:11 Aug 2011 12:02
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