• S Prasanna Kumar

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Physical control of primary productivity on a seasonal scale in central and eastern Arabian Sea

      S Prasanna Kumar M Madhupratap M Dileep Kumar M Gauns P M Muraleedharan V V S S Sarma S N De Souza

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      Usingin situ data collected during 1992–1997, under the Indian programme of Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS), we show that the biological productivity of the Arabian Sea is tightly coupled to the physical forcing mediated through nutrient availability. The Arabian Sea becomes productive in summer not only along the coastal regions of Somalia, Arabia and southern parts of the west coast of India due to coastal upwelling but also in the open waters of the central region. The open waters in the north are fertilized by a combination of divergence driven by cyclonic wind stress curl to the north of the Findlater Jet and lateral advection of nutrient-rich upwelled waters from Arabia. Productivity in the southern part of the central Arabian Sea, on the other hand, is driven by advection from the Somalia upwelling. Surface cooling and convection resulting from reduced solar radiation and increased evaporation make the northern region productive in winter. During both spring and fall inter-monsoons, this sea remains warm and stratified with low production as surface waters are oligotrophic. Inter-annual variability in physical forcing during winter resulted in one-and-a-half times higher production in 1997 than in 1995.

    • Chlorophyll modulation of mixed layer thermodynamics in a mixed-layer isopycnal General Circulation Model — An example from Arabian Sea and equatorial Pacific

      S Nakamoto S Prasanna Kumar J M Oberhuber H Saito K Muneyama R Frouin

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      Western tropical Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and the equatorial Pacific are known as regions of intense bio-chemical-physical interactions: the Arabian Sea has the largest phytoplankton bloom with seasonal signal, while the equatorial Pacific bloom is perennial with quasi-permanent upwelling. Here, we studied three dimensional ocean thermodynamics comparing recent ocean observation with ocean general circulation model (OPYC) experiment combined with remotely sensed chlorophyll pigment concentrations from the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS). Using solar radiation parameterization representing observations that a higher abundance of chlorophyll increases absorption of solar irradiance and heating rate in the upper ocean, we showed that the mixed layer thickness decreases more than they would be under clear water conditions. These changes in the model mixed layer were consistent with Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) observations during the 1994-1995 Arabian Sea experiment and epi-fluorescence microscopy (EFM) on samples collected during Equatorial Pacific Ocean Climate Study (EPOCS) in November, 1988. In the Arabian Sea, as the chlorophyll concentrations peak in October (3 mg/m3) after the summer plankton bloom induced by coastal upwelling, the chlorophyll induced biological heating enhanced the sea surface temperature (SST) by as much as 0.6‡C and sub-layer temperature decreases and sub-layer thickness increases. In the equatorial Pacific, modest concentrations of chlorophyll less than 0.3 mg/m3 is enough to introduce a meridional differential heating, which results in reducing the equatorial mixed layer thickness to more than 20 m. The anomalous meridional tilting of the mixed layer bottom enhances off equatorial westward geostrophic currents. Consequently, the equatorial undercurrent transports more water from west to east. We proposed that these numerical model experiments with use of satellite andin situ ocean observations are consistent under three dimensional ocean circulation theory combined with solar radiation transfer process.

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