Thermohaline Structures and Heat/Freshwater Transports of Mesoscale Eddies in the Bay of Bengal Observed by Argo and Satellite Data

Xinyu Lin, Yun Qiu, Dezheng Sun
2019 Remote Sensing  
Knowledge of mesoscale eddies in the Bay of Bengal (BOB) is key for further understanding the climate variability in this region and beyond, but little is known about the vertical structure of these eddies. In this study, the three−dimensional structure and transport characteristics of mesoscale eddies in the BOB were comprehensively investigated by the combined use of Argo profiles and satellite data. The composite analysis showed that eddy−induced ocean anomalies are mainly confined to the
more » ... confined to the upper 300 m of the water. The spatial structure of eddy−induced thermohaline perturbations is characterized by a dominant dipole structure in the near surface layer, arising from horizontal advection of the background thermohaline gradient by eddy rotation, and a monopole structure in the subsurface layer, caused by eddy−induced vertical displacements of the isopycnal surfaces. In the eddy core, the maximum temperature anomalies induced by a cyclonic eddy (CE) and an anticyclonic eddy (AE) are about −1.2 °C and +1.2 °C, respectively. The anomalies are located at approximately 100 m. The corresponding salinity anomalies are located at approximately 50 m with a value of −0.1 psu (0.1 psu) for CE (AE). The eddy thermohaline structure has a seasonal character. A deeper temperature and salinity core occurs in both CE and AE in spring compared to that in other seasons, which is primarily caused by the relatively deep thermocline and halocline during that season. In addition, unique warming anomalies induced by CE are present in the mixed layer during winter due to the vertical advection of the BL (Barrier Layer) warmer water by eddies. The total meridional heat transport induced by the composite eddy is poleward (equatorward) south (north) to 10°N with a value of 0.01 PW (−0.013 PW), whereas the total meridional freshwater transport is equatorward with a value of 0.046 Sv over a one−year period. The volume of freshwater export out of the bay is approximately 35% of the annual net freshwater input from local precipitation and river discharge.
doi:10.3390/rs11242989 fatcat:ca4xh7g7mjgqthyfzrc4e65iua