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Free Content A subsurface cyclonic eddy in the Bay of Bengal

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CTD data collected from the northwestern Bay of Bengal during late July 1984 reveal the existence of a cold core subsurface eddy centered at 17°40'N and 85°19'E. The thermal structure observed across the eddy indicates that it was confined to a level well below the mixed layer, between 50 and 300 db, and that it had a diameter of about 200 km. A temperature drop of 4–5°C as compared with the surroundings was observed at the center of the eddy. A plausible mechanism for the eddy generation is baroclinic instability at the interface of two opposing boundary currents present along the shelf edge of the western boundary of the Bay of Bengal. The southward current in the northern bay results partly from fresh water influx and to a larger extent from the action of wind stress curl while in the southern part the northward current is purely wind-driven. High stratification caused by fresh water influx prevented the eddy from being detected at the surface.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1991

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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