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  • Author or Editor: W. J. Teague x
  • Air–Sea Interactions from the Diurnal to the Intraseasonal during the PISTON, MISOBOB, and CAMP2Ex Observational Campaigns in the Tropics x
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C. A. Luecke
,
H. W. Wijesekera
,
E. Jarosz
,
D. W. Wang
,
J. C. Wesson
,
S. U. P. Jinadasa
,
H. J. S. Fernando
, and
W. J. Teague

Abstract

Long-term measurements of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate (ε), and turbulent temperature variance dissipation rate (χ T ) in the thermocline, along with currents, temperature, and salinity were made at two subsurface moorings in the southern Bay of Bengal (BoB). This is a part of a major international program, conducted between July 2018 and June 2019, for investigating the role of the BoB on the monsoon intraseasonal oscillations. One mooring was located on the typical path of the Southwest Monsoon Current (SMC), and the other was in a region where the Sri Lanka dome is typically found during the summer monsoon. Microstructure and finescale estimates of vertical diffusivity revealed the long-term subthermocline mixing patterns in the southern BoB. Enhanced turbulence and large eddy diffusivities were observed within the SMC during the passage of a subsurface-intensified anticyclonic eddy. During this time, background shear and strain appeared to influence high-frequency motions such as near-inertial waves and internal tides, leading to increased mixing. Near the Sri Lanka dome, enhanced dissipation occurred at the margins of the cyclonic feature. Turbulent mixing was enhanced with the passage of Rossby waves and eddies. During these events, values of χ T exceeding 10−4 °C2 s−1 were recorded concurrently with ε values exceeding 10−5 W kg−1. Inferred diffusivity peaked well above background values of 10−6 m2 s−1, leading to an annually averaged diffusivity near 10−4 m2 s−1. Turbulence appeared low throughout much of the deployment period. Most of the mixing occurred in spurts during isolated events.

Free access
C. A. Luecke
,
H. W. Wijesekera
,
E. Jarosz
,
D. W. Wang
,
T. G. Jensen
,
S. U. P. Jinadasa
,
H. J. S. Fernando
, and
W. J. Teague

Abstract

The formation of a sharp oceanic front located south-southeast of Sri Lanka during the southwest monsoon is examined through in situ and remote observations and high-resolution model output. Remote sensing and model output reveal that the front extends approximately 200 km eastward from the southeast coast of Sri Lanka toward the southern Bay of Bengal (BoB). This annually occurring front is associated with the boundary between the southwest monsoon current with high-salinity water to the south, and a weak flow field comprised of relatively fresh BoB water to the north. The front contains a line of high chlorophyll extending from the coastal upwelling zone, often for several hundred kilometers. Elevated turbulent diffusivities ∼10−2 m2 s−1 along with large diapycnal fluxes of heat and salt were found within the front. The formation of the front and vertical transports are linked to local wind stress curl. Large vertical velocities (∼50 m day−1) indicate the importance of ageostrophic, submesoscale processes. To examine these processes, the Ertel potential vorticity (PV) was computed using the observations and numerical model output. The model output shows a ribbon of negative PV along the front between the coastal upwelling zone and two eddies (Sri Lanka Dome and an anticyclonic eddy) typically found in the southern BoB. PV estimates support the view that the flow is susceptible to submesoscale instabilities, which in turn generate high vertical velocities within the front. Frontal upwelling and heightened mixing show that the seasonal front is regionally important to linking the fresh surface water of the BoB with the Arabian Sea.

Significance Statement

Within the ocean, motions span extraordinarily wide ranges of sizes and time scales. In this study we focus on a narrow, intensified feature called a front. This front occurs in the southern Bay of Bengal during the summer monsoon and forms a boundary between fresher water to the north and saltier water to the south. Features such as this are difficult to study, however, by combining observations made from ships and satellites with output from numerical models of the ocean, we are able to better understand the front. This is important because fronts like the one studied here play a role in determining the pathways of heat within the ocean, which, in turn, may feedback into the atmosphere and weather patterns.

Open access
Hemantha W. Wijesekera
,
W. J. Teague
,
David W. Wang
,
Z. R. Hallock
,
Conrad A. Luecke
,
Ewa Jarosz
,
H. J. S. Fernando
,
S. U. P. Jinadasa
,
Tommy G. Jensen
,
Adam Rydbeck
, and
Maria Flatau

Abstract

Upper-ocean heat content and heat fluxes of 10–60-day intraseasonal oscillations (ISOs) were examined using high-resolution currents and hydrographic fields measured at five deep-water moorings in the central Bay of Bengal (BoB) and satellite observations as part of an international effort examining the role of the ocean on monsoon intraseasonal oscillations (MISOs) in the BoB. Currents, temperature, and salinity were sampled over the upper 600–1200 m from July 2018 to June 2019. The 10–60-day velocity ISOs of magnitudes 20–30 cm s−1 were observed in the upper 200 m, and temperature ISOs as large as 3°C were observed in the thermocline near 100 m. The wavelet cospectral analysis reveals multiple periods of ISOs carrying heat southward. The meridional heat-flux divergence associated with the 10–60-day band was strongest in the central BoB at depths between 40 and 100 m, where the averaged flux divergence over the observational period is as large as 10−7 °C s−1. The vertically integrated heat-flux divergence in the upper 200 m is about 20–30 W m−2, which is comparable to the annual-average net surface heat flux in the northern BoB. Correlations between the heat content over the 26°C isotherm and the outgoing longwave radiation indicate that the atmospheric forcing typically leads changes of the oceanic heat content, but in some instances, during fall–winter months, oceanic heat content leads the atmospheric convection. Our analyses suggest that ISOs play an important role in the upper-ocean heat balance by transporting heat southward, while aiding the air–sea coupling at ISO time scales.

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