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Free Content Water characteristics, mixing and circulation in the Bay of Bengal during southwest monsoon

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Influence of the freshwater influx, the wind forcing and the Indian Ocean monsoon drift current on the property distributions and the circulation in the Bay of Bengal during southwest monsoon has been quantified. At the head of the Bay, waters of low salinity, affected by the freshwater influx, occupy the upper 90 m water column. The isohaline 34.0 × 10−3 separating these waters from those of underlying saline waters shoals southward gradually and outcrops around 14N, 10N and 6N in the western, central and southeastern regions of the Bay respectively. The wind-stress-curl-induced upwelling effect is confined to depth limits of 50–100 m as is supported by a band of cold (24°–19°C) water in the central Bay. In the southern and central regions of the Bay, the monsoon drift current feeds the large scale cyclonic gyre apart from maintaining the northward flowing boundary current in the eastern Bay. A warm (27°–23°C), saline (35.0–35.2 × 10−3) watermass is advected northeastward along with the monsoon drift current into the Bay up to 14N at the depth limits of 50–100 m. Below this depth, in the western Bay a well-defined southward flow in the form of a boundary current is documented. Intense vertical mixing is inferred at the zones of salinity fronts in the depth limits of 40–100 m and also at deeper depths (> 2200 m) and elsewhere lateral mixing is predominant.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 1992

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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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