Zavala-Garay Javier

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  • Article
    On the dynamics of the Zanzibar Channel
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-09-12) Zavala-Garay, Javier ; Theiss, Jurgen ; Moulton, Melissa ; Walsh, Connor ; van Woesik, Robert ; Mayorga-Adame, Claudia G. ; García-Reyes, Marisol ; Mukaka, D. S. ; Whilden, Kerri ; Shaghude, Y. W.
    The Zanzibar Channel lies between the mainland of Tanzania and Zanzibar Island in the tropical western Indian Ocean, is about 100 km long, 40 km wide, and 40 m deep, and is essential to local socioeconomic activities. This paper presents a model of the seasonal and tidal dynamics of the Zanzibar Channel based on the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) and a comparison of the model and observations. The seasonal dynamics of the channel is forced by remote processes and the local wind. Remote forcing creates the East African Coastal Current, a portion of which flows through the channel northward with a seasonally varying magnitude. The local wind enhances this seasonality in the surface Ekman layer, resulting in a stronger northward flow during the southwest monsoon season and a weak northward or occasionally southward flow during the northeast monsoon season. The tidal flows converge and diverge in the center of the channel and reduce the transport in the channel. The remotely forced, wind-forced, and tidal dynamics contain 5%, 3%, and 92% of the total kinetic energy, respectively. Despite their low kinetic energy, the remotely forced and wind-forced flows are most relevant in advecting channel water to the open ocean, which occurs in 19 days at the peak of the southwest monsoon season. The channel is well mixed, except during brief periods in the two rainy seasons, and temporarily cools between December and February. The dispersion of passive tracers is presented as an example of potential model applications.
  • Article
    Interannual variability of the surface summertime eastward jet in the South China Sea
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-10-27) Li, Yuanlong ; Han, Weiqing ; Wilkin, John L. ; Zhang, Weifeng G. ; Arango, Hernan G. ; Zavala-Garay, Javier ; Levin, Julia C. ; Castruccio, Frederic S.
    The summertime eastward jet (SEJ) located around 12°N, 110°E–113°E, as the offshore extension of the Vietnam coastal current, is an important feature of the South China Sea (SCS) surface circulation in boreal summer. Analysis of satellite-derived sea level and sea surface wind data during 1992–2012 reveals pronounced interannual variations in its surface strength (SSEJ) and latitudinal position (YSEJ). In most of these years, the JAS (July, August, and September)-mean SSEJ fluctuates between 0.17 and 0.55 m s−1, while YSEJ shifts between 10.7°N and 14.3°N. These variations of the SEJ are predominantly contributed from the geostrophic current component that is linked to a meridional dipole pattern of sea level variations. This sea level dipole pattern is primarily induced by local wind changes within the SCS associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Enhanced (weakened) southwest monsoon at the developing (decaying) stage of an El Niño event causes a stronger (weaker) SEJ located south (north) of its mean position. Remote wind forcing from the tropical Pacific can also affect the sea level in the SCS via energy transmission through the Philippine archipelago, but its effect on the SEJ is small. The impact of the oceanic internal variability, such as eddy-current interaction, is assessed using an ocean general circulation model (OGCM). Such impact can lead to considerable year-to-year changes of sea level and the SEJ, equivalent to ∼20% of the observed variation. This implies the complexity and prediction difficulty of the upper ocean circulation in this region.