Western boundary upwelling dynamics off Oman

Type Article
Date 2017-05
Language English
Author(s) Vic Clement1, 2, Capet Xavier3, Roullet Guillaume1, Carton Xavier1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer,LOPS, Brest, France.
2 : Univ Southampton, Dept Ocean & Earth Sci, Southampton, Hants, England.
3 : UPMC, CNRS, IRD, IPSL,LOCEAN,MNHN,UMR 7159, Paris, France.
Source Ocean Dynamics (1616-7341) (Springer Heidelberg), 2017-05 , Vol. 67 , N. 5 , P. 585-595
DOI 10.1007/s10236-017-1044-5
WOS© Times Cited 14
Keyword(s) Oman, Upwelling, Arabian sea, ROMS, Rossby waves, Eddy kinetic energy

Despite its climatic and ecosystemic significance, the coastal upwelling that takes place off Oman is not well understood. A primitive-equation, regional model forced by climatological wind stress is used to investigate its dynamics and to compare it with the better-known Eastern Boundary Upwellings (EBUs). The solution compares favorably with existing observations, simulating well the seasonal cycles of thermal structure, surface circulation (mean and turbulent), and sea-surface temperature (SST). There is a 1.5-month lag between the maximum of the upwelling-favorable wind-stress-curl forcing and the oceanic response (minima in sea-surface height and SST), which we attribute to onshore-propagating Rossby waves. A southwestward-flowing undercurrent (opposite to the direction of the near-surface flow) is also simulated with a core depth of 1000 m, much deeper than found in EBUs (150–200 m). An EKE budget reveals that, in contrast to EBUs, the upwelling jet is more prone to barotropic than baroclinic instability and the contribution of locally-generated instabilities to EKE is higher by an order of magnitude. Advection and redistribution of EKE by standing mesoscale features also play a significant role in EKE budget.

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