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Atmospheric Forcing and the Structure and Evolution of the Upper Ocean in the Bay of Bengal

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Technical Report

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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Woods Hole United States

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Our long-term goals are to improve understanding and simulation of physical processes in the upper ocean that influence air-sea interaction and the upper-ocean environment. The focus of this project is an investigation of the processes that determine the vertical structure and evolution of the upper ocean in the southern Bay of Bengal. The Bay of Bengal is an interesting region from the perspective of air-sea interaction the presence of a salinity-stratified barrier layer is believed to have important effects on the sea surface temperature field and the regional atmosphere because the shallow stratification favors a relatively rapid response of the upper ocean to surface forcing. The strong, shallow stratification in the region and the dynamical processes governing the upper-ocean structure and air-sea interaction have not yet been adequately characterized and understood, posing a challenge to the ability of numerical models to simulate and predict changes in the ocean and atmosphere there. With this project, we seek to use new and existing measurements to test, scrutinize, and improve the conceptual, theoretical, and dynamical constructs of air-sea interaction in the Bay of Bengal.

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