Ramachandran Sanjiv

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  • Article
    Submesoscale processes at shallow salinity fronts in the Bay of Bengal : observations during the winter monsoon
    (American Meteorological Society, 2018-02-26) Ramachandran, Sanjiv ; Tandon, Amit ; MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Lucas, Andrew J. ; Pinkel, Robert ; Waterhouse, Amy F. ; Nash, Jonathan D. ; Shroyer, Emily L. ; Mahadevan, Amala ; Weller, Robert A. ; Farrar, J. Thomas
    Lateral submesoscale processes and their influence on vertical stratification at shallow salinity fronts in the central Bay of Bengal during the winter monsoon are explored using high-resolution data from a cruise in November 2013. The observations are from a radiator survey centered at a salinity-controlled density front, embedded in a zone of moderate mesoscale strain (0.15 times the Coriolis parameter) and forced by winds with a downfront orientation. Below a thin mixed layer, often ≤10 m, the analysis shows several dynamical signatures indicative of submesoscale processes: (i) negative Ertel potential vorticity (PV); (ii) low-PV anomalies with O(1–10) km lateral extent, where the vorticity estimated on isopycnals and the isopycnal thickness are tightly coupled, varying in lockstep to yield low PV; (iii) flow conditions susceptible to forced symmetric instability (FSI) or bearing the imprint of earlier FSI events; (iv) negative lateral gradients in the absolute momentum field (inertial instability); and (v) strong contribution from differential sheared advection at O(1) km scales to the growth rate of the depth-averaged stratification. The findings here show one-dimensional vertical processes alone cannot explain the vertical stratification and its lateral variability over O(1–10) km scales at the radiator survey.
  • Article
    Enhancement in vertical fluxes at a front by mesoscale-submesoscale coupling
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-12-12) Ramachandran, Sanjiv ; Tandon, Amit ; Mahadevan, Amala
    Oceanic frontal instabilities are of importance for the vertical exchange of properties in the ocean. Submesoscale, O(1) Rossby number, dynamics are particularly relevant for inducing the vertical (and lateral) flux of buoyancy and tracers in the mixed layer, but how these couple with the stratified pycnocline is less clear. Observations show surface fronts often persist beneath the mixed layer. Here we use idealized, three-dimensional model simulations to show how surface fronts that extend deeper into the pycnocline invoke enhanced vertical fluxes through the coupling of submesoscale and mesoscale instabilities. We contrast simulations in which the front is restricted to the mixed layer with those in which it extends deeper. For the deeper fronts, we examine the effect of density stratification on the vertical coupling. Our results show deep fronts can dynamically couple the mixed layer and pycnocline on time scales that increase with the peak stratification beneath the mixed layer. Eddies in the interior generate skew fluxes of buoyancy and tracer oriented along isopycnals, thus providing an adiabatic pathway for the interior to interact with the mixed layer at fronts. The vertical enhancement of tracer fluxes through the mesoscale-submesoscale coupling described here is thus relevant to the vertical supply of nutrients for phytoplankton in the ocean. A further implication for wind-forced fronts is that the vertical structure of the stream function characterizing the exchange between the interior and the mixed layer exhibits significant qualitative differences compared to a linear combination of existing parameterizations of submesoscale eddies in the mixed layer and mesoscale eddies in the interior. The discrepancies are most severe within the mixed layer suggesting a potential role for Ekman-layer dynamics absent in existing submesoscale parameterizations.
  • Preprint
    Production and destruction of eddy kinetic energy in forced submesoscale eddy-resolving simulations
    ( 2016-12-02) Mukherjee, Sonaljit ; Ramachandran, Sanjiv ; Tandon, Amit ; Mahadevan, Amala
    We study the production and dissipation of the eddy kinetic energy (EKE) in a submesoscale eddy field forced with downfront winds using the Process Study Ocean Model (PSOM) with a horizontal grid resolution of 0.5 km. We simulate an idealized 100 m deep mixed-layer front initially in geostrophic balance with a jet in a domain that permits eddies within a range of O(1km–100 km). The vertical eddy viscosities and the dissipation are parameterized using four different subgrid vertical mixing parameterizations: the k−ϵ,k−ϵ, the KPP, and two different constant eddy viscosity and diffusivity profiles with a magnitude of O(10−2m2s−1) in the mixed layer. Our study shows that strong vertical eddy viscosities near the surface reduce the parameterized dissipation, whereas strong vertical eddy diffusivities reduce the lateral buoyancy gradients and consequently the rate of restratification by mixed-layer instabilities (MLI). Our simulations show that near the surface, the spatial variability of the dissipation along the periphery of the eddies depends on the relative alignment of the ageostrophic and geostrophic shear. Analysis of the resolved EKE budgets in the frontal region from the simulations show important similarities between the vertical structure of the EKE budget produced by the k−ϵk−ϵ and KPP parameterizations, and earlier LES studies. Such an agreement is absent in the simulations using constant eddy-viscosity parameterizations.
  • Article
    The LatMix summer campaign : submesoscale stirring in the upper ocean
    (American Meteorological Society, 2015-08) Shcherbina, Andrey Y. ; Sundermeyer, Miles A. ; Kunze, Eric ; D'Asaro, Eric A. ; Badin, Gualtiero ; Birch, Daniel ; Brunner-Suzuki, Anne-Marie E. G. ; Callies, Joern ; Cervantes, Brandy T. Kuebel ; Claret, Mariona ; Concannon, Brian ; Early, Jeffrey ; Ferrari, Raffaele ; Goodman, Louis ; Harcourt, Ramsey R. ; Klymak, Jody M. ; Lee, Craig M. ; Lelong, M.-Pascale ; Levine, Murray D. ; Lien, Ren-Chieh ; Mahadevan, Amala ; McWilliams, James C. ; Molemaker, M. Jeroen ; Mukherjee, Sonaljit ; Nash, Jonathan D. ; Ozgokmen, Tamay M. ; Pierce, Stephen D. ; Ramachandran, Sanjiv ; Samelson, Roger M. ; Sanford, Thomas B. ; Shearman, R. Kipp ; Skyllingstad, Eric D. ; Smith, K. Shafer ; Tandon, Amit ; Taylor, John R. ; Terray, Eugene A. ; Thomas, Leif N. ; Ledwell, James R.
    Lateral stirring is a basic oceanographic phenomenon affecting the distribution of physical, chemical, and biological fields. Eddy stirring at scales on the order of 100 km (the mesoscale) is fairly well understood and explicitly represented in modern eddy-resolving numerical models of global ocean circulation. The same cannot be said for smaller-scale stirring processes. Here, the authors describe a major oceanographic field experiment aimed at observing and understanding the processes responsible for stirring at scales of 0.1–10 km. Stirring processes of varying intensity were studied in the Sargasso Sea eddy field approximately 250 km southeast of Cape Hatteras. Lateral variability of water-mass properties, the distribution of microscale turbulence, and the evolution of several patches of inert dye were studied with an array of shipboard, autonomous, and airborne instruments. Observations were made at two sites, characterized by weak and moderate background mesoscale straining, to contrast different regimes of lateral stirring. Analyses to date suggest that, in both cases, the lateral dispersion of natural and deliberately released tracers was O(1) m2 s–1 as found elsewhere, which is faster than might be expected from traditional shear dispersion by persistent mesoscale flow and linear internal waves. These findings point to the possible importance of kilometer-scale stirring by submesoscale eddies and nonlinear internal-wave processes or the need to modify the traditional shear-dispersion paradigm to include higher-order effects. A unique aspect of the Scalable Lateral Mixing and Coherent Turbulence (LatMix) field experiment is the combination of direct measurements of dye dispersion with the concurrent multiscale hydrographic and turbulence observations, enabling evaluation of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the observed dispersion at a new level.
  • Article
    ASIRI : an ocean–atmosphere initiative for Bay of Bengal
    (American Meteorological Society, 2016-11-22) Wijesekera, Hemantha W. ; Shroyer, Emily L. ; Tandon, Amit ; Ravichandran, M. ; Sengupta, Debasis ; Jinadasa, S. U. P. ; Fernando, Harindra J. S. ; Agrawal, Neeraj ; Arulananthan, India K. ; Bhat, G. S. ; Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Buckley, Jared ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Conry, Patrick ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Gordon, Arnold L. ; Hormann, Verena ; Jarosz, Ewa ; Jensen, Tommy G. ; Johnston, T. M. Shaun ; Lankhorst, Matthias ; Lee, Craig M. ; Leo, Laura S. ; Lozovatsky, Iossif ; Lucas, Andrew J. ; MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Mahadevan, Amala ; Nash, Jonathan D. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Pham, Hieu ; Pinkel, Robert ; Rainville, Luc ; Ramachandran, Sanjiv ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Sarkar, Sutanu ; Send, Uwe ; Sharma, Rashmi ; Simmons, Harper L. ; Stafford, Kathleen M. ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Venayagamoorthy, Subhas K. ; Venkatesan, Ramasamy ; Teague, William J. ; Wang, David W. ; Waterhouse, Amy F. ; Weller, Robert A. ; Whalen, Caitlin B.
    Air–Sea Interactions in the Northern Indian Ocean (ASIRI) is an international research effort (2013–17) aimed at understanding and quantifying coupled atmosphere–ocean dynamics of the Bay of Bengal (BoB) with relevance to Indian Ocean monsoons. Working collaboratively, more than 20 research institutions are acquiring field observations coupled with operational and high-resolution models to address scientific issues that have stymied the monsoon predictability. ASIRI combines new and mature observational technologies to resolve submesoscale to regional-scale currents and hydrophysical fields. These data reveal BoB’s sharp frontal features, submesoscale variability, low-salinity lenses and filaments, and shallow mixed layers, with relatively weak turbulent mixing. Observed physical features include energetic high-frequency internal waves in the southern BoB, energetic mesoscale and submesoscale features including an intrathermocline eddy in the central BoB, and a high-resolution view of the exchange along the periphery of Sri Lanka, which includes the 100-km-wide East India Coastal Current (EICC) carrying low-salinity water out of the BoB and an adjacent, broad northward flow (∼300 km wide) that carries high-salinity water into BoB during the northeast monsoon. Atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) observations during the decaying phase of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) permit the study of multiscale atmospheric processes associated with non-MJO phenomena and their impacts on the marine boundary layer. Underway analyses that integrate observations and numerical simulations shed light on how air–sea interactions control the ABL and upper-ocean processes.