Summary of Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission No. IO50-08-0014PresentationPoster

SST VARIATIONS AND SALINITY FRONTS IN THE BAY OF BENGAL

Karthik Menon*1, Ritabrata Thakur1, Debasis Sengupta2, Rama Govindarajan1

1 TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences, Hyderabad, India
2 Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

ABSTRACT :

This study aims to understand the effect of oceanic fronts in the Bay of Bengal, to establish a relation between these fronts, and the mixing processes affecting marine life and monsoonal variations in the region. The Bay of Bengal serves as an interesting area of study due to various anomalous observation noticed in its properties. It shows much lower salinity levels than would be expected, and the fronts in the Bay of Bengal show a very wide sea surface temperature(SST) variation. In addition, the surface front between river water and saline water has been seen to be very large, roughly 1-2 psi in a few kilometres. Another interesting observation is that the temperatures of the Indian coast and the Myanmar coasts reverse during a year. In the winters, the temperatures are lower towards the Myanmar coast and vice-versa in the summer. These peculiarities in the Bay of Bengal play a large role in the distribution of phytoplankton and other marine life as nutrient concentrations are affected by oceanic mixing processes. This shows up in the kilometer scale structures that have been observed in satellite data for surface chlorophyll distribution. Also these temperature distributions play a role the global variability of the climate and the formation of clouds, by affecting atmospheric convection, which impacts the monsoon cycle. Hence as part of this work we attempt to understand these peculiarities by way of computational simulations and studying the instabilities and re-stratification in the fronts, and their impact on ocean mixing.