• S R Shetye

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Seasonal variation of the salinity in the Zuari estuary, Goa, India

      S R Shetye C S Murty

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      The annual salt budget of the Zuari is examined. The characteristics of the estuary differ markedly from the low run off season during November–May to the heavy run off period of the southwest monsoon from June to October. During November–May the estuary is vertically mixed and the two processes controlling the transport of salt are run off induced advective transport out of the estuary, and tidally induced diffusive transport into the estuary. The magnitude of the latter is about 20% larger, leading to a salinity rise in the estuary. The diffusion coefficient has been estimated to be 233 ± 101 m2/sec. With the onset of the southwest monsoon, the run off increases dramatically, and the estuary loses about 75% of its salt during the first two months of the season. About 2/3 of this loss is recovered in the next two months when the run off decreases. Because the estuary is partially stratified during June–October, gravitational circulation is expected to play a role in addition to tidal diffusion and run off. The magnitude of its contribution has, however, not yet been determined.

    • The warm pool in the Indian Ocean

      P N Vinayachandran S R Shetye

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      The structure of the warm pool (region with temperature greater than 28°C) in the equatorial Indian Ocean is examined and compared with its counterpart in the Pacific Ocean using the climatology of Levitus. Though the Pacific warm pool is larger and warmer, a peculiarity of the pool in the Indian Ocean is its seasonal variation. The surface area of the pool changes from 24 × 106 km2 in April to 8 × 106 km2 in September due to interaction with the southwest monsoon. The annual cycles of sea surface temperature at locations covered by the pool during at least a part of the year show the following modes: (i) a cycle with no significant variation (observed in the western equatorial Pacific and central and eastern equatorial Indian Ocean), (ii) a single maximum/minimum (northern and southern part of the Pacific warm pool and the south Indian Ocean), (iii) two maxima/minima (Arabian Sea, western equatorial Indian Ocean and southern Bay of Bengal), and (iv) a rapid rise, a steady phase and a rapid fall (northern Bay of Bengal).

    • Diurnal and semidiurnal tidal currents in the deep mid-Arabian Sea

      S S C Shenoi A D Gouveia S R Shetye

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      Current meter records from two depths, approximately 1000 and 3000 m, at three moorings in the deep mid-Arabian Sea were used to study tidal components. Tidal ellipses for the semi-diurnal (M2, S2 and K2) and the diurnal (K1, and P1) tidal constituents have been determined using the currents recorded at hourly intervals during May 1986–May 1987. The clockwise rotating M2 tidal currents were the strongest. The maximum horizontal velocities due to M2,2 and K1 tides were 2.2 cm/s, l.0cm/s and 0.89 cm/s respectively. The amplitudes of the other two constituents (P1, and K2) were much smaller. The barotropic M2 ellipses have been estimated by averaging the M2 tidal currents at the upper and lower levels. Although the amplitudes of computed ellipses are lower than those that have been predicted using numerical models of global tidal model, their orientations are the same.

    • Circulation and water masses of the Arabian Sea

      S R Shetye A D Gouveia S S C Shenoi

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      The dynamics and thermodynamics of the surface layer of the Arabian Sea, north of about 10N, are dominated by the monsoon-related annual cycle of air-sea fluxes of momentum and heat. The currents in open-sea regime of this layer can be largely accounted for by Ekman drift and the thermal field is dominated by local heat fluxes. The geostrophic currents in open-sea subsurface regime also show a seasonal cycle and there is some evidence that signatures of this cycle appear as deep as 1000 m. The forcing due to Ekman suction is an important mechanism for the geostrophic currents in the central and western parts of the Sea. Recent studies suggest that the eastern part is strongly influenced by the Rossby waves radiated by the Kelvin waves propagating along the west coast of India.

      The circulation in the coastal region off Oman is driven mainly by local winds and there is no remotely driven western boundary current. Local wind-driving is also important to the coastal circulation off western India during the southwest monsoon but not during the northeast monsoon when a strong (approximately 7 × 106m3/sec) current moves poleward against weak winds. This current is driven by a pressure gradient which forms along this coast during the northeast monsoon due to either thermohaline-forcing or due to the arrival of Kelvin waves from the Bay of Bengal.

      The present speculation about flow of bottom water (deeper than about 3500 m) in the Arabian Sea is that it moves northward and upwells into the layer of North Indian Deep Water (approximately 1500–3500m). It is further speculated that the flow in this layer consists of a poleward western boundary current and a weak equatorward flow in the interior. It is not known if there is an annual cycle associated with the deep and the bottom water circulation.

    • Propagation of tides in the Mandovi-Zuari estuarine network

      S R Shetye A D Gouveia S Y Singbal C G Naik D Sundar G S Michael G Nampoothiri

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      Located in Goa on the west coast of India and joining the Arabian Sea, the Mandovi and the Zuari are two estuaries, each about 50 km long, connected by a narrow canal. A number of small rivers join the two estuaries, forming a network of channels, whose cross-sectional area decreases rapidly in the upstream direction. They receive large freshwater influx during the southwest monsoon and little during the rest of the year. During April (dry season) and August (wet season) 1993, the water level and salinity at 15 locations in the network were monitored for 3 days to determine characteristics of tidal propagation in the network. Analysis of the data shows that the speed of propagation of both the diurnal and the semi-diurnal tide through the main channels of the network is approximately 6 m/s. Amplitudes of these tides in the channels remain unchanged over a distance of about 40 km from the mouth and then decay rapidly upstream over the next 10 km. The undamped propagation is a consequence of the balance between geometric amplification, due to decrease in the cross-sectional area in the upstream direction, and frictional dissipation. The rapid decay near the upstream end of the channels appears to result primarily from freshwater influx.

    • Tidal propagation in the Gulf of Khambhat, Bombay High, and surrounding areas

      A S Unnikrishnan S R Shetye G S Michael

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      The continental shelf on the west coast of India is widest off Bombay and leads into a strongly converging channel, the Gulf of Khambhat. Tides in the Gulf are among the largest on the coast. We use data on amplitude and phase of major semi-diurnal and diurnal constituents at forty-two ports in the Gulf and surrounding areas to define characteristics of the tides. We then use a barotropic numerical model based on shallow water wave equations to simulate the sea level and circulation in the region. The model is forced by prescribing the tide along the open boundaries of the model domain. Observed sea level at Bombay and currents from the Bombay High region at the centre of the model domain and from a shallow station off the port of Dahanu compare favourably with the fields simulated by the model. The simulated amplitudes and phases of the four most prominent tidal constituents also compare favourably with those observed along the coast, except at a few locations where the model spatial resolution (6.37 km × 6.37 km) appears to be inadequate to resolve the local geometry. Though this encourages us to conclude that the circulation in the region is dominated by barotropic tides, a concern is that the observational database on hydrography and directly measured currents in the region is weak.

    • Tides in the Mandovi and Zuari estuaries, Goa, west coast of India

      D Sundar S R Shetye

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      Mandovi and Zuari are two estuaries located in Goa, west coast of India. Variation of water level in the estuaries was monitored for a month at 13 locations using tide-poles during March–April 2003. Analysis of this data has provided for the first time, characteristics of how tidal constituents vary in the narrow and shallow estuaries, typical of those found along the west coast of India. At a distance of 45 km from the mouth the tidal range increased in both estuaries by approximately 20%. The tidal range at the upstream end of the two channels at the stations dropped sharply because of the increase in elevation of the channels.

    • Link between convection and meridional gradient of sea surface temperature in the Bay of Bengal

      D Shankar S R Shetye P V Joseph

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      We use daily satellite estimates of sea surface temperature (SST)and rainfall during 1998 –2005 to show that onset of convection over the central Bay of Bengal (88-92°E, 14-18°N)during the core summer monsoon (mid-May to September)is linked to the meridional gradient of SST in the bay.The SST gradient was computed between two boxes in the northern (88-92°E, 18-22°N) and southern (82-88°E, 4-8°N) bay; the latter is the area of the cold tongue in the bay linked to the Summer Monsoon Current.Convection over central bay followed the SST difference between the northern and southern bay (𝛥 𝑇) exceeding 0.75°C in 28 cases.There was no instance of 𝛥 𝑇 exceeding this threshold without a burst in convection.There were,however,five instances of convection occurring without this SST gradient.Long rainfall events (events lasting more than a week)were associated with an SST event (𝛥 𝑇 ≥ 0.75°C);rainfall events tended to be short when not associated with an SST event.The SST gradient was important for the onset of convection, but not for its persistence:convection often persisted for several days even after the SST gradient weakened.The lag between 𝛥 𝑇 exceeding 0.75°C and the onset of convection was 0-18 days,but the lag histogram peaked at one week.In 75% of the 28 cases,convection occurred within a week of 𝛥 𝑇 exceeding the threshold of 0.75°C. The northern bay SST, T_N contributed more to 𝛥 𝑇 but it was a weaker criterion for convection than the SST gradient.A sensitivity analysis showed that the corresponding threshold for T_N was 29°C. We hypothesise that the excess heating (∼1° C above the threshold for deep convection)required in the northern bay to trigger convection is because this excess in SST is what is required to establish the critical SST gradient.

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