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Understanding the Dynamics of the South Indian Ocean Sea Surface Salinity Maximum Pool From Argo, Rama, Aquarius, SMOS & Other Satellites
[25-Feb-2016] Menezes, V. and Phillips, H.
Presented at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting
Subtropical salinity maximum regions are particularly important because the salty subtropical underwater (STW) is formed by subduction of surface waters in these areas. In all oceans, the STW is transported equatorward from the formation region and are tightly related to the Subtropical-Tropical Cell. In the South Indian Ocean (SIO), the salinity maximum pool is further poleward (25S-38S) and eastward (60E-120E). It significantly impacts the circulation of the eastern basin, because the STW forms a strong haline front with the fresh Indonesian Throughflow waters. This haline front overwhelms the temperature contribution establishing the eastward Eastern Gyral Current, an important upstream source for the Leeuwin Current. In the present work, we analyze the variability of the SSS maximum pool using Aquarius and SMOS satellites, an Argo gridded product and the RAMA mooring located at 25S-100E. OAFLUX, 3B42 TRMM, Ascat/Quikscat winds and OSCAR products complement this study. The salinity maximum pool has a strong seasonal cycle of contraction (min in Oct) and expansion (max in April), and most of this variation occurs in the pool poleward side. Advection and entrainment control the contraction, while expansion is due to atmospheric forcing (E-P). From 2004 to 2014, a clear reduction in the pool area is identified, which might be related to a decadal variability. In this case, the variation is in the equatorward side of the pool. Processes controlling this long-term variability are being investigated.

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