Charuta V Prabhu
Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 109 Issue 2 June 2000 pp 267-277
Time-series data on upper-ocean temperature, Vessel-Mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (VM-ADCP) measured currents and surface meteorological parameters have been obtained for the first time in the southern Bay of Bengal at 7‡N, 10‡N, and 13‡N locations along 87‡E during October–November, 1998 under BOBMEX-Pilot programme. These data have been analysed to examine the diurnal variability of upper oceanic heat budget and to estimate the eddy diffusivity coefficient of heat in the upper layer. Diurnal variation of near-surface temperature is typical at northern location (13‡N) with a range of 0.5‡C while the diurnal range of temperature is enhanced to 0.8‡C at the central location (10‡N) due to intense solar radiation (1050 W/m2), clear skies and low wind speeds. At the southern location (7‡N), the diurnal variation of temperature is atypical with the minimum temperature occurring at 2000 hrs instead of at early morning hours. In general, the diurnal curve of temperature penetrated up to 15 to 20 m with decreasing diurnal range with depth. The VM-ADCP measured horizontal currents in the upper ocean were predominantly easterly/northeasterly at southern location, north/northerly at central location and northwesterly at northern location, thus describing a large-scale cyclonic gyre with the northward meridional flow along 87‡E. The magnitudes of heat loss at the surface due to air-sea heat exchanges and in the upper 50 m layer due to vertical diffusion of heat are highest at the southern location where intense convective activity followed by overcast skies and synoptic disturbance prevailed in the lower atmosphere. This and the estimated higher value (0.0235 m2/s) of eddy diffusivity coefficient of heat in the upper ocean (0–50 m depth) suggest that 1-D processes controlled the upper layer heat budget at the southern location. On the other hand, during the fair weather conditions, at the central and northern locations, the upper layer gained heat energy, while the sea surface lost (gained) heat energy at northern (central) location. This and lower values of eddy diffusivity coefficient of heat (0.0045 and 0.0150 m2/s) and the northward intensification of horizontal currents at these locations suggest the greater role of horizontal heat advection over the 1-D processes in the upper ocean heat budget at these two locations.
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