Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 29 Issue 02

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Volume 29, No. 2
Pages 158 - 169


Monsoon Mixing Cycles in the Bay of Bengal: A Year-Long Subsurface Mixing Record

By Sally J. Warner , Johannes Becherer, Kandaga Pujiana, Emily L. Shroyer , M. Ravichandran , V.P. Thangaprakash, and James N. Moum 
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Article Abstract

Based on the first year-long record of mixing collected in the eastern central Bay of Bengal, we quantify the role that subsurface turbulent heat fluxes play in upper-ocean cooling brought on by southwest (SW) and northeast (NE) monsoons. During the NE (dry, or winter) monsoon, atmospheric and subsurface turbulent heat fluxes each contribute about 50% of the net sea surface cooling. During the SW (wet, or summer) monsoon, the atmospheric heat flux varied widely due to “active” and “break” cycles of the monsoon intraseasonal oscillations, but had a net positive seasonal average. The subsurface turbulent heat flux during the SW monsoon led to surface cooling at rates more than three times greater than those measured during the NE monsoon. Since the seasonally averaged atmospheric heat flux was positive, subsurface mixing accounted for nearly all of the cooling during the SW monsoon. During the transition between the NE and SW monsoons, subsurface heat flux was near zero, and atmospheric heating rapidly warmed the sea surface. Following the SW monsoon, passage of Tropical Storm Hudhud led to O(1) m2 s–1 rates of turbulence diffusivity and strong subsurface heat flux, accounting for roughly half of the 1.4°C surface cooling that occurred over a 60-hour period. 


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