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Quantifying Boundary Currents in the Arabian Sea

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Technical Report,01 Oct 2014,30 Sep 2015

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University of California San Diego La Jolla United States

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Because they are highly variable narrow meandering jets accompanied by narrow recirculation gyres and energetic eddy fields, estimating the velocity and volume transport of western boundary currents WBCs poses significant challenges. In the case of the WBC of the Arabian Sea, the difficulty is compounded because of seasonally reversing monsoon winds. A challenge for a transport array is the need to fully span the connecting current systems in order to understand the dynamics, structure and variability of the northern Arabian Sea WBC. Recent analyses have shown that observational approaches that include data from multi-platforms i.e. XBTs, Argo floats, altimetry etc. may reduce errors in estimates of oceanic volume transport. This is because individual components of the observing system all have limitations when it comes to obtaining accurate observations with sufficiently fine resolution to resolve the flow field in space and time along the narrow path of the WBC system. The long-term goal is to produce an index of transport variability in the WBC system of the northern Arabian Sea using combined complementary modern data sets. The effort will focus on merging available high-density XBT transects with Argo float profiles and trajectories and altimetric data sets to characterize the spatial and temporal variability of the circulation in the northern Arabian Sea.

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