• P S Swathi

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Microstrain stability of Peninsular India 1864–1994

      J Paul F Blume S Jade V Kumar P S Swathi M B Ananda V K Gaur Roland Burgmann Roger Bilham B Namboodri Dave Mencin

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      We report the results of the South Indian Strain Measuring Experiment (SISME) designed to determine whether strain related to microseismicity in the past century may have deformed the networks of the 19th century Great Trigonometrical Survey of India (GTS). More than a dozen GTS points were measured between Mangalore, Madras, and Kanyakumari in southernmost India using GPS geodesy to determine regional deformation. Detailed measurements were made near two of the original baselines of the survey to determine the reliability of dilatational strain data for the network. The regional measurements revealed negligible regional dilatational (+ 11.2 + 10 microstrain) and shear strain changes (0.66± 1.2μradians) in the southernmost 530 km of India. In addition to these measurements, we determined the rate of northward and eastward motion of a point in Bangalore (1991–1994) in the ITRF92 reference frame to be 39 ± 3.5 mm/year, and 51 ± 11 mm/year respectively. This is consistent with NUVEL-1A plate motion estimate for India. Simultaneous measurements to a point near Kathmandu reveal that the Indian plate and the Southern Himalaya are moving approximately in unison, placing an upper limit on the rate of creep processes beneath the lesser Himalaya of ≈6 mm/year, and suggesting relatively rigid behavior of the Indian plate north of Bangalore. The stability of the Indian plate is confirmed by the absence of significant changes in the lengths of the two baselines at Bangalore and Cape Comorin, which, within the limits of experimental error have not changed since 1869. The measurements place an upper limit for recent deformation in the southern peninsula, and hence a lower limit for the renewal time for intraplate earthquakes in the region of approximately 10,000 years, assuming shear failure strain of approximately 100 μradians. This, in turn, implies that recurrence intervals for Peninsular Earthquakes far exceed the length of the written historic record, suggesting that the characterisation of seismic recurrence intervals from historical studies is likely to be fruitless. In contrast, the SISME experiment demonstrates that the noise level of geodetic studies based on 19th century GTS data is less than 0.02 μstrain/year, providing considerable scope for delineating regions of anomalously high seismogenic strain, by GPS measurements at all available trig points of the 19th century GTS survey.

    • Sea surface heights obtained from Modular Ocean Model simulation and comparison with Topex/Poseidon data for the Indian Ocean

      P S Swathi K S Yajnik

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      The Modular Ocean Model (MOM) is perhaps the most versatile ocean model available today for the simulation of the large scale circulation of the ocean. The Topex/Poseidon altimeter which has been operating since September 1992 has been providing sea surface heights (SSH) of the accuracy of 5–10 cms with a repeat cycle of 10 days. We examine in this paper, the SSH in the Indian Ocean obtained from a global simulation of MOM with a resolution of 1° in the longitude, 1/3° in the latitude between 30°S and 30°N and 20 levels in the vertical with climatological windforcing and restoring conditions on temperature and salinity. They are compared with the SSH from the Topex/Poseidon altimeter after suitable filtering in the time domain to remove smaller time and length scales. In addition, unfiltered data from both sources are analysed by estimating the cross-spectral density to find the coherence and crossphase at different frequencies. The agreement between the two, over most of the Northern Indian Ocean, especially the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal is quite good.

    • A coupled physical-biological-chemical model for the Indian Ocean

      P S Swathi M K Sharada K S Yajnik

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      A coupled physical-biological-chemical model has been developed at C-MMACS. for studying the time-variation of primary productivity and air-sea carbon-dioxide exchange in the Indian Ocean. The physical model is based on the Modular Ocean Model, Version 2 (MOM2) and the biological model describes the nonlinear dynamics of a 7-component marine ecosystem. The chemical model includes dynamical equation for the evolution of dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity. The interaction between the biological and chemical model is through the Redfield ratio. The partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) of the surface layer is obtained from the chemical equilibrium equations of Penget al 1987. Transfer coefficients for air-sea exchange of CO2 are computed dynamically based on the wind speeds. The coupled model reproduces the high productivity observed in the Arabian Sea off the Somali and Omani coasts during the Southwest (SW) monsoon. The entire Arabian Sea is an outgassing region for CO2 in spite of high productivity with transfer rates as high as 80 m-mol C/m2 /day during SW monsoon near the Somali Coast on account of strong winds.

    • Role of biology in the air–sea carbon flux in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea

      M K Sharada P S Swathi K S Yajnik C Kalyani Devasena

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      A physical-biological-chemical model (PBCM)is used for investigating the seasonal cycle of air –sea carbon flux and for assessing the effect of the biological processes on seasonal time scale in the Arabian Sea (AS)and Bay of Bengal (BoB),where the surface waters are subjected to contrasting physical conditions.The formulation of PBCM is given in Swathi et al (2000),and evaluation of several ammonium-inhibited nitrate uptake models is given in Sharada et al (2005). The PBCM is here first evaluated against JGOFS data on surface pCO2 in AS, Bay of Bengal Process Studies (BoBPS)data on column integrated primary productivity in BoB,and WOCE I1 data on dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC)and alkalinity (ALK)in the upper 500 meters at 9°N in AS and at 10°N in BoB in September –October.There is good qualitative agreement with local quantitative discrepancies.

      The net effect of biological processes on air –sea carbon flux on seasonal time scale is determined with an auxiliary computational experiment,called the abiotic run,in which the biological processes are turned off.The difference between the biotic run and abiotic run is interpreted as the net effect of biological processes on the seasonal variability of chemical variables.The net biological effect on air –sea carbon flux is found to be highest in southwest monsoon season in the northwest AS, where strong upwelling drives intense new production.The biological effect is larger in AS than in BoB,as seasonal upwelling and mixing are strong in AS,especially in the northeast,while coastal upwelling and mixing are weak in BoB.

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