Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 479–494 | Cite as

First and second baroclinic mode responses of the tropical Indian Ocean to interannual equatorial wind anomalies

  • Vinu ValsalaEmail author
Original Articles


The combined and individual responses of the first and second baroclinic mode dynamics of the tropical Indian Ocean to the well-known Indian Ocean Dipole mode (IOD) wind anomalies are investigated. The IOD forced first baroclinic Rossby waves arrive at the western boundary in three months, while the reflected component from the eastern boundary with opposite phase arrives in five to six months, both carry input energy to the west. The inclusion of the second baroclinic mode slows down the wave propagation by mode coupling and stretches the energy spectrum to a relatively longer time scale. The total energy exists in the equatorial wave guide for at least five months from the forcing, as much as 10% of that of the atmospheric input, which mainly dissipates at the western boundary. The individual responses of the ocean to IOD interannual wind anomaly show that the significant modes of oceanic anomalies are confined to a wave guide of 10° on either side of the equator.


Indian Ocean Dipole Mode tropical Indian Ocean Kelvin waves Rossby waves first baroclinic mode responses second baroclinic mode responses 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Global Environmental ResearchNational Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan

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