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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-75
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-75
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  07 Aug 2020

07 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Correlation between subsurface salinity anomalies in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean Dipole and governing mechanisms

Zheen Zhang1, Thomas Pohlmann1, and Xueen Chen2 Zheen Zhang et al.
  • 1Institute of Oceanography, Centre for Marine and Climate Research, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China

Abstract. Lead-lag correlations between the subsurface temperature/salinity anomalies in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are revealed in model results, ocean synthesis, and observations. Mechanisms for such correlations are further investigated using the Hamburg Shelf Ocean Model (HAMSOM), mainly on the salinity variability. It is found that the subsurface salinity anomaly of the BoB positively correlates to the IOD with a lag of three months on average, while the subsurface temperature anomaly negatively correlates. The model results suggest the remote forcing from the equatorial Indian Ocean dominates the interannual subsurface salinity variability in the BoB. The coastal Kelvin waves carry signals of positive (negative) salinity anomalies from the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean and propagate counterclockwise along the coasts of the BoB during positive (negative) IOD events. Subsequently westward Rossby waves propagate these signals to the basin at a relatively slow speed, which causes a considerable delay of the subsurface salinity anomalies in the correlation. By analyzing the salinity budget of the BoB, it is found that the diffusion dominates the salinity changes near the surface, while the advection dominates the subsurface; the vertical advection of salinity contributes positively to this correlation, while the horizontal advection contributes negatively. These results suggest that the IOD plays a crucial role in the interannual subsurface salinity variability in the BoB.

Zheen Zhang et al.

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Short summary
A time-delayed positive (negative) correlation between the subsurface salinity (temperature) anomaly variability of the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and the Indian Ocean Dipole variability is found by analyzing multiple data sets. By applying a numerical model, it is demonstrated that coastal Kelvin waves, westward Rossby waves, and associated advection processes, play a crucial role in this correlation. Based on this, it is possible to predict the subsurface ocean state in the BoB.
A time-delayed positive (negative) correlation between the subsurface salinity (temperature)...
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