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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-12
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-12
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Apr 2019

Research article | 23 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

The seasonal and interannual variabilities of the barrier layer thickness in the tropical Indian Ocean

Xu Yuan and Zhongbo Su Xu Yuan and Zhongbo Su
  • Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, the Netherlands

Abstract. The seasonal and interannual variations of the barrier layer thickness (BLT) in the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) is investigated in this study using the Simple Ocean Data Assimilation (SODA) version 3 reanalysis dataset from 1980 to 2015. BLT presents a significant seasonal variation in the TIO, mainly attributed to the variations of the sea surface salinity (SSS) and the thermocline. In particular, BLT anomalies are negatively correlated to SSS anomalies in the western TIO, except in summer. In the eastern TIO, the thermocline anomalies positively impact BLT anomalies in all seasons. However, the dependency of BLT anomalies on thermocline in the western TIO is only observed during winter.

Furthermore, It is found that BLT could feedback on SSS, as BLT of the spring-time can negatively affect the SSS of the summer-time in the western TIO. In terms of the interannual BLT variation, we found that both the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)and El Niño South Oscillation (ENSO) events could impact the variation of BLT by affecting the thermocline, especially in the eastern TIO. In addition, BLT in the western TIO presents remarkable seasonal phase locking feature during the El Niño years. During the developing and mature phases of El Niño, thicker BLT is due to the change of thermocline, while during the decaying phase of El Niño BLT opposing to the weakened thermocline change becomes more significant because of the change of SSS.

Xu Yuan and Zhongbo Su
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Status: open (until 25 Jun 2019)
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Xu Yuan and Zhongbo Su
Xu Yuan and Zhongbo Su
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Short summary
This work investigates the variabilities of the barrier layer thickness (BLT) in the tropical Indian Ocean with the Simple Ocean Data Assimilation version 3 ocean reanalysis data. Our results show that the seasonal variation of the BLT is in relation to the changes of thermocline and sea surface salinity. In terms of the interannual time scale, BLT presents a clear seasonal phase-locking dominated by different drivers during the Indian Dipole and El Niño South Oscillation events.
This work investigates the variabilities of the barrier layer thickness (BLT) in the tropical...
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