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Xiang Li
,
Dongliang Yuan
,
Yao Li
,
Zheng Wang
,
Jing Wang
,
Xiaoyue Hu
,
Ya Yang
,
Corry Corvianawatie
,
Dewi Surinati
,
Asep Sandra Budiman
,
Ahmad Bayhaqi
,
Praditya Avianto
,
Edi Kusmanto
,
Priyadi Dwi Santoso
,
Adi Purwandana
,
Mochamad Furqon Azis Ismail
,
Dirhamsyah
, and
Zainal Arifin

Abstract

The currents and water mass properties at the Pacific entrance of the Indonesian seas are studied using measurements of three subsurface moorings deployed between the Talaud and Halmahera Islands. The moored current meter data show northeastward mean currents toward the Pacific Ocean in the upper 400 m during the nearly 2-yr mooring period, with the maximum velocity in the northern part of the channel. The mean transport between 60- and 300-m depths is estimated to be 10.1–13.2 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) during 2016–17, when all three moorings have measurements. The variability of the along-channel velocity is dominated by low-frequency signals (periods > 150 days), with northeastward variations in boreal winter and southwestward variations in summer in the superposition of the annual and semiannual harmonics. The current variations evidence the seasonal movement of the Mindanao Current retroflection, which is supported by satellite sea level and ocean color data, showing a cyclonic intrusion into the northern Maluku Sea in boreal winter whereas a leaping path occurs north of the Talaud Islands in summer. During Apri–July, the moored CTDs near 200 m show southwestward currents carrying the salty South Pacific Tropical Water into the Maluku Sea.

Full access
Xueli Yin
,
Dongliang Yuan
,
Xiang Li
,
Zheng Wang
,
Yao Li
,
Corry Corvianawatie
,
Adhitya Kusuma Wardana
,
Dewi Surinati
,
Adi Purwandana
,
Mochamad Furqon Azis Ismail
,
Asep Sandra Budiman
,
Ahmad Bayhaqi
,
Praditya Avianto
,
Edi Kusmanto
,
Priyadi Dwi Santoso
,
Dirhamsyah
, and
Zainal Arifin

Abstract

The mean circulation and volume budgets in the upper 1200 m of the Maluku Sea are studied using multiyear 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 60–450 m is northward toward the Pacific Ocean with a mean transport of 2.07–2.60 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1). In the depth range of 450–1200 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 anticlockwise western intensified gyre circulation in the middle layer of the Maluku Sea. Budget analyses suggest that the mean transport of the intermediate WBC is 1.83–2.25 Sv, which is balanced by three transports: 1) 0.62–0.93 Sv southward transport into the Seram–Banda Seas through the Lifamatola Passage, 2) 0.97–1.01 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 semienclosed basin.

Significance Statement

The Indonesian Throughflow plays an important role in the global ocean circulation and climate variations. Existing studies of the Indonesian Throughflow have focused on the upper thermocline currents. Here we identify, using mooring observations, an intermediate western boundary current with the core at 800–1000-m depth in the Maluku Sea, transporting intermediate waters from the Pacific into the Seram–Banda Seas through the Lifamatola Passage. Potential vorticity balance suggests an anticlockwise gyre circulation in the intermediate Maluku Sea, which is evidenced by the mooring and model data. Transport estimates suggest northward countercurrent in the upper Maluku Sea toward the Pacific, supplied by the Lifamatola Passage transport and upwelling from the intermediate layer in the Maluku Sea. Our results suggest the importance of the intermediate Indonesian Throughflow in global ocean circulation and overturn. More extensive investigations of the Indo-Pacific intermediate ocean circulation should be conducted to improve our understanding of global ocean overturn and heat and CO2 storages.

Free access
Dongliang Yuan
,
Xiang Li
,
Zheng Wang
,
Yao Li
,
Jing Wang
,
Ya Yang
,
Xiaoyue Hu
,
Shuwen Tan
,
Hui Zhou
,
Adhitya Kusuma Wardana
,
Dewi Surinati
,
Adi Purwandana
,
Mochamad Furqon Azis Ismail
,
Praditya Avianto
,
Dirham Dirhamsyah
,
Zainal Arifin
, and
Jin-Song von Storch

Abstract

The Maluku Channel is a major opening of the eastern Indonesian Seas to the western Pacific Ocean, the upper-ocean currents of which have rarely been observed historically. During December 2012–November 2016, long time series of the upper Maluku Channel transport are measured successfully for the first time using subsurface oceanic moorings. The measurements show significant intraseasonal-to-interannual variability of over 14 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) in the upper 300 m or so, with a mean transport of 1.04–1.31 Sv northward and a significant southward interannual change of over 3.5 Sv in the spring of 2014. Coincident with the interannual transport change is the Mindanao Current, choked at the entrance of the Indonesian Seas, which is significantly different from its climatological retroflection in fall–winter. A high-resolution numerical simulation suggests that the variations of the Maluku Channel currents are associated with the shifting of the Mindanao Current retroflection. It is suggested that the shifting of the Mindanao Current outside the Sulawesi Sea in the spring of 2014 elevates the sea level at the entrance of the Indonesian Seas, which drives the anomalous transport through the Maluku Channel. The results suggest the importance of the western boundary current nonlinearity in driving the transport variability of the Indonesian Throughflow.

Full access
Xiang-Yu Li
,
Hailong Wang
,
Jingyi Chen
,
Satoshi Endo
,
Geet George
,
Brian Cairns
,
Seethala Chellappan
,
Xubin Zeng
,
Simon Kirschler
,
Christiane Voigt
,
Armin Sorooshian
,
Ewan Crosbie
,
Gao Chen
,
Richard Anthony Ferrare
,
William I. Gustafson Jr.
,
Johnathan W. Hair
,
Mary M. Kleb
,
Hongyu Liu
,
Richard Moore
,
David Painemal
,
Claire Robinson
,
Amy Jo Scarino
,
Michael Shook
,
Taylor J. Shingler
,
Kenneth Lee Thornhill
,
Florian Tornow
,
Heng Xiao
,
Luke D. Ziemba
, and
Paquita Zuidema

Abstract

Large-eddy simulation (LES) is able to capture key boundary layer (BL) turbulence and cloud processes. Yet, large-scale forcing and surface turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent heat are often poorly prescribed for LESs. We derive these quantities from measurements and reanalysis obtained for two cold-air outbreak (CAO) events during Phase I of the Aerosol Cloud Meteorology Interactions over the Western Atlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE) in February–March 2020. We study the two contrasting CAO cases by performing LES and test the sensitivity of BL structure and clouds to large-scale forcings and turbulent heat fluxes. Profiles of atmospheric state and large-scale divergence and surface turbulent heat fluxes obtained from ERA5 data agree reasonably well with those derived from ACTIVATE field measurements for both cases at the sampling time and location. Therefore, we adopt the time-evolving heat fluxes, wind, and advective tendencies profiles from ERA5 data to drive the LES. We find that large-scale thermodynamic advective tendencies and wind relaxations are important for the LES to capture the evolving observed BL meteorological states characterized by the hourly ERA5 data and validated by the observations. We show that the divergence (or vertical velocity) is important in regulating the BL growth driven by surface heat fluxes in LESs. The evolution of liquid water path is largely affected by the evolution of surface heat fluxes. The liquid water path simulated in LES agrees reasonably well with the ACTIVATE measurements. This study paves the path to investigate aerosol–cloud–meteorology interactions using LES informed and evaluated by ACTIVATE field measurements.

Full access
Xiang-Yu Li
,
Hailong Wang
,
Jingyi Chen
,
Satoshi Endo
,
Simon Kirschler
,
Christiane Voigt
,
Ewan Crosbie
,
Luke D. Ziemba
,
David Painemal
,
Brian Cairns
,
Johnathan W. Hair
,
Andrea F. Corral
,
Claire Robinson
,
Hossein Dadashazar
,
Armin Sorooshian
,
Gao Chen
,
Richard Anthony Ferrare
,
Mary M. Kleb
,
Hongyu Liu
,
Richard Moore
,
Amy Jo Scarino
,
Michael A. Shook
,
Taylor J. Shingler
,
Kenneth Lee Thornhill
,
Florian Tornow
,
Heng Xiao
, and
Xubin Zeng

Abstract

Aerosol effects on micro/macrophysical properties of marine stratocumulus clouds over the western North Atlantic Ocean (WNAO) are investigated using in situ measurements and large-eddy simulations (LES) for two cold-air outbreak (CAO) cases (28 February and 1 March 2020) during the Aerosol Cloud Meteorology Interactions over the Western Atlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE). The LES is able to reproduce the vertical profiles of liquid water content (LWC), effective radius r eff and cloud droplet number concentration Nc from fast cloud droplet probe (FCDP) in situ measurements for both cases. Furthermore, we show that aerosols affect cloud properties (Nc , r eff, and LWC) via the prescribed bulk hygroscopicity of aerosols ( κ ¯ ) and aerosol size distribution characteristics. Nc , r eff, and liquid water path (LWP) are positively correlated to κ ¯ and aerosol number concentration (Na ) while cloud fractional cover (CFC) is insensitive to κ ¯ and aerosol size distributions for the two cases. The realistic changes to aerosol size distribution (number concentration, width, and the geometrical diameter) with the same meteorology state allow us to investigate aerosol effects on cloud properties without meteorological feedback. We also use the LES results to evaluate cloud properties from two reanalysis products, ERA5 and MERRA-2. Compared to LES, the ERA5 is able to capture the time evolution of LWP and total cloud coverage within the study domain during both CAO cases while MERRA-2 underestimates them.

Open access