Mixed layer variability in Northern Arabian Sea as detected by an Argo float
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Seasonal evolution of surface mixed layer in the Northern Arabian Sea (NAS) between 17° N–20.5° N and 59° E-69° E was observed by using Argo float daily data for about 9 months, from April 2002 through December 2002. Results showed that during April - May mixed layer shoaled due to light winds, clear sky and intense solar insolation. Sea surface temperature (SST) rose by 2.3 °C and ocean gained an average of 99.8 Wm−2. Mixed layer reached maximum depth of about 71 m during June - September owing to strong winds and cloudy skies. Ocean gained abnormally low ∼18 Wm−2 and SST dropped by 3.4 °C. During the inter monsoon period, October, mixed layer shoaled and maintained a depth of 20 to 30 m. November - December was accompanied by moderate winds, dropping of SST by 1.5 °C and ocean lost an average of 52.5 Wm−2. Mixed layer deepened gradually reaching a maximum of 62 m in December. Analysis of surface fluxes and winds suggested that winds and fluxes are the dominating factors causing deepening of mixed layer during summer and winter monsoon periods respectively. Relatively high correlation between MLD, net heat flux and wind speed revealed that short term variability of MLD coincided well with short term variability of surface forcing.
Key wordsargo mixed layer depth surface fluxes wind stress Arabian Sea
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