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The circulation of the Indian Ocean at 32°S

McDonagh, Elaine L.; Bryden, Harry L.; King, Brian A.; Sanders, Richard J.. 2008 The circulation of the Indian Ocean at 32°S. Progress in Oceanography, 79 (1). 20-36. 10.1016/j.pocean.2008.07.001

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Abstract/Summary

Using inverse methods a circulation for a new section along 32°S in the Indian Ocean is derived with a maximum in the overturning stream function (or deep overturning) of 10.3 Sv at 3310 m. Shipboard and Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) data are used to inform the choice of reference level velocity for the initial geostrophic field. Our preferred solution includes a silicate constraint (−312 ± 380 kmol s−1) consistent with an Indonesian throughflow of 12 Sv. The overturning changes from 12.3 Sv at 3270 m when the silicate constraint is omitted to 10.3 Sv when it is included. The deep overturning varies by only ±0.7 Sv as the silicate constraint varies from +68 to −692 kmol s−1, and by ±0.3 Sv as the net flux across the section, driven by the Indonesian throughflow, varies from −7 to −17 Sv with an appropriately scaled silicate flux constraint. Thus, the overturning is insensitive to the size of the Indonesian throughflow and silicate constraint within their apriori uncertainties. We find that the use of the ADCP data adds significant detail to the horizontal circulation. These resolved circulations include the Agulhas Undercurrent, deep cyclonic gyres and deep fronts, features evidenced by long term integrators of the flow such as current meter and float measurements as well as water properties.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.pocean.2008.07.001
ISSN: 0079-6611
Additional Keywords: South Indian Ocean; Circulation; Overturning; Inverse methods; ADCP; Reference velocity
Date made live: 30 Oct 2008 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/163771

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