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Monsoonal impact on circulation pathways in the Indian Ocean

TitleMonsoonal impact on circulation pathways in the Indian Ocean
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsJinadasa S.UP, Pathirana G., Ranasinghe P.N, Centurioni L, Hormann V.
Date Published2020/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0253-505X
Accession NumberWOS:000524955600011
Keywordsarabian sea; Bay of bengal; bengal currents; circulation; coastal current; exchange; northeast monsoon; oceanography; salinity; seasonal variability; southern bay; southwest monsoon; sri-lanka; summer; surface drifters

Monsoon driven water mass exchange between the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and Arabian Sea (AS) is the common experience. However, it is not yet firmly confirmed that the exchange pathway is either passing through southern tip of Sri Lanka or Palk Strait. Local circulation patterns impact the pathways followed by the East Indian Coastal Currents (EICC) that drive exchange, thereby modulating mixing and water mass transformation in the Bay of Bengal around Sri Lanka. In this study, observations from surface drifters were incorporated with the satellite derived data to understand the monsoonal impact on circulation patterns in the Indian Ocean. This was the first multi-national scientific effort which was conducted in the BoB and AS during 2013 to 2015 to understand the monsoonal impact on circulation patterns in the complex region. The results indicated that seasonally reversing monsoonal currents of southern Sri Lanka, traced by the wintertime freshwater export pathways of the EICC. The deflection of monsoon currents running along the east coast of Sri Lanka by forming cyclonic and anti-cyclonic eddies, which influence the mixing and stirring associated with these flows. Results further indicate the low salinity cold water flows from the BoB to AS along the western boundary of the BoB during northeast monsoon. In the same way, reverses the phenomena during southwest monsoon, transporting high salinity warm water from AS to the BoB. This maintain the bay status which occurred due to freshwater influx from large rivers and high saline water from AS. However, no evidences were observed for the exchange through Palk Strait during the study. Also, there are some mis-matches in in-situ and remotely sensed measurements which imply the necessity of systematic observation system for the complex region as an alternative approach.

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