Journal cover Journal topic
Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2017-38
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
11 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).
An Undercurrent off the East Coast of Sri Lanka
Arachaporn Anutaliya1, Uwe Send1, Julie L. McClean1, Janet Sprintall1, Luc Rainville2, Craig Lee2, S. U. Prinyatha Jinadasa3, Alan J. Wallcraft4, and E. Joseph Metzger4 1Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA
2Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
3National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency, Colombo, Sri Lanka
4Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, USA
Abstract. The existence of a seasonally varying undercurrent along 8° N off the east coast of Sri Lanka is inferred from Conductivity-Temperature-Depth profiles, Argo floats, glider measurements, and Ocean General Circulation Model outputs. Together, they reveal an undercurrent below 200 m that is approximately 140 km wide and can reach a maximum speed of 45 cm s−1 that hitherto has not been observed. The undercurrent, flowing in the opposite direction to the surface current, is most pronounced during boreal spring and summer and switches direction between these two seasons. The undercurrent transports relatively fresh water southward during spring, while it advects more saline water northward along the east coast of Sri Lanka during summer. This suggests a pathway, independent of the surface circulation, whereby freshwater is removed and saline water is injected into the Bay of Bengal.

Citation: Anutaliya, A., Send, U., McClean, J. L., Sprintall, J., Rainville, L., Lee, C., Jinadasa, S. U. P., Wallcraft, A. J., and Metzger, E. J.: An Undercurrent off the East Coast of Sri Lanka, Ocean Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2017-38, in review, 2017.
Arachaporn Anutaliya et al.
Arachaporn Anutaliya et al.
Arachaporn Anutaliya et al.

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Short summary
Observations and numerical models reveal the existence of the undercurrent off the east coast of Sri Lanka. The undercurrent is most pronounced during boreal spring and summer and flows in the opposite direction from the surface current. Ocean General Circulation Model (OGCM) shows high correlation between salinity and volume transport over the width of the undercurrent. However, salt transport by the undercurrent calculated from the OGCM is small.
Observations and numerical models reveal the existence of the undercurrent off the east coast of...
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