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The Response of the Upper Ocean to Monosoonal Forcing

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Final rept. 1 Jan 1994-30 Sep 2000

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This grant provided support for the collection, analysis and publication of results from the Arabian Sea Accelerated Research Initiative. The Arabian Sea is a unique setting for observations of the upper ocean because of the strength and directional steadiness of the monsoonal forcing. As part of the Arabian Sea ARI, we deployed two surface moorings of a five-mooring array to study the oceans response to the monsoon. Each of our buoys was equipped with a meteorological package for estimating air-sea fluxes of heat and momentum, and subsurface instrumentation for measuring temperature and horizontal velocity. A variety of projects, discussed below, was brought to completion. The ultimate goal of my research is a complete characterization of the upper ocean 5 response to atmospheric forcing. The forcing takes place through surface fluxes of heat, fresh water, and momentum. The response may be local and direct, or may be modified by advection and wave propagation. The Arabian Sea was an attractive region for an air-sea interaction experiment because of the strength and steadiness of the monsoons. The wind-stress spectrum was more energetic at low frequencies in the Arabian Sea than in mid-latitude locations where the forcing is dominated by storms. The Arabian Sea ARI thus provided an interesting contrast to previous experiments done at higher latitudes such as LOTUS, FASINEX, and Ocean Storms. The ONR-funded surface moored array in the Arabian Sea consisted of a heavily instrumented central mooring R. Weller, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, two profiling current meters C. Eriksen, University of Washington, and two lightweight surface moorings D. Rudnick, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The array was centered at 15 deg 30N, 61 deg 30E, and the moorings were separated by 50 km to resolve mesoscale oceanic features. The site was chosen to be near the climatological maximum wind in July.

Subject Categories:

  • Meteorology
  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography

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