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Moored observations of the currents and transports of the Maluku Sea

Xueli YinaKey Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, and Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
cUniversity of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
dPilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao, China

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Dongliang YuanaKey Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, and Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
bKey Laboratory of Marine Science and Numerical Modeling, First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources; Shandong Key Laboratory of Marine Science and Numerical Modeling, Qingdao, China
cUniversity of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
dPilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao, China

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Xiang LiaKey Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, and Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China

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Zheng WangaKey Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, and Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
dPilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao, China

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Yao LiaKey Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, and Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
dPilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao, China

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Corry CorvianawatieaKey Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, and Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
bKey Laboratory of Marine Science and Numerical Modeling, First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources; Shandong Key Laboratory of Marine Science and Numerical Modeling, Qingdao, China
cUniversity of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
dPilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao, China
eResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Adhitya Kusuma WardanaeResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Dewi SurinatieResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Adi PurwandanaeResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Mochamad Furqon Azis IsmaileResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Asep Sandra BudimaneResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Ahmad BayhaqieResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Praditya AviantoeResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Edi KusmantoeResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Priyadi Dwi SantosoeResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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DirhamsyaheResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Zainal ArifineResearch Center for Oceanography-National Research and Innovation Agency (RCO-BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia

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Abstract

The mean circulation and volume budgets in the upper 1200 m of the Maluku Sea are studied using multi-year current meter measurements of four moorings in the Maluku Channel and of one synchronous mooring in the Lifamatola Passage. The measurements show that the mean current in the depth range of 60 m - 450 m is northward towards the Pacific Ocean with a mean transport of 2.07 Sv - 2.60 Sv. In the depth range of 450 m - 1200 m, a mean western boundary current (WBC) flows southward through the western Maluku Sea and connects with the southward flow in the Lifamatola Passage. The mean currents in the central-eastern Maluku Channel are found to flow northward at this depth range, suggesting an anti-clockwise western intensified gyre circulation in the middle layer of the Maluku Sea. Budget analyses suggest that the mean transport of the intermediate WBC is 1.83 Sv - 2.25 Sv, which is balanced by three transports: (1) 0.62 Sv - 0.93 Sv southward transport into the Seram-Banda Seas through the Lifamatola Passage, (2) 0.97 Sv-1.01 Sv returning to the western Pacific Ocean through the central-eastern Maluku Channel, and (3) a residual transport surplus, suggested to upwell to the upper layer joining the northward transport into the Pacific Ocean. The dynamics of the intermediate gyre circulation are explained by the potential vorticity (PV) integral constraint of a semi-enclosed basin.

Affiliation a and Affiliation b share the first position.

Corresponding author: Dongliang Yuan, dyuan@fio.org.cn

Abstract

The mean circulation and volume budgets in the upper 1200 m of the Maluku Sea are studied using multi-year current meter measurements of four moorings in the Maluku Channel and of one synchronous mooring in the Lifamatola Passage. The measurements show that the mean current in the depth range of 60 m - 450 m is northward towards the Pacific Ocean with a mean transport of 2.07 Sv - 2.60 Sv. In the depth range of 450 m - 1200 m, a mean western boundary current (WBC) flows southward through the western Maluku Sea and connects with the southward flow in the Lifamatola Passage. The mean currents in the central-eastern Maluku Channel are found to flow northward at this depth range, suggesting an anti-clockwise western intensified gyre circulation in the middle layer of the Maluku Sea. Budget analyses suggest that the mean transport of the intermediate WBC is 1.83 Sv - 2.25 Sv, which is balanced by three transports: (1) 0.62 Sv - 0.93 Sv southward transport into the Seram-Banda Seas through the Lifamatola Passage, (2) 0.97 Sv-1.01 Sv returning to the western Pacific Ocean through the central-eastern Maluku Channel, and (3) a residual transport surplus, suggested to upwell to the upper layer joining the northward transport into the Pacific Ocean. The dynamics of the intermediate gyre circulation are explained by the potential vorticity (PV) integral constraint of a semi-enclosed basin.

Affiliation a and Affiliation b share the first position.

Corresponding author: Dongliang Yuan, dyuan@fio.org.cn
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