A time-dependent Sverdrup relation and its application to the Indian Ocean

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DOI
10.1175/jpo-d-21-0223.1
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Ocean circulation
Ocean dynamics
Rossby waves
Wind stress curl
Abstract
The Sverdrup relation is the backbone of wind-driven circulation theory; it is a simple relation between the meridional transport of the wind-driven circulation in the upper ocean and the wind stress curl. However, the relation is valid for steady circulation only. In this study, a time-dependent Sverdrup relation is postulated, in which the meridional transport in a time-dependent circulation is the sum of the local wind stress curl term and a time-delayed term representing the effect of the eastern boundary condition. As an example, this time-dependent Sverdrup relation is evaluated through its application to the equatorial circulation in the Indian Ocean, using reanalysis data and a reduced gravity model. Close examination reveals that the southward Somali Current occurring during boreal winter is due to the combination of the local wind stress curl in the Arabian Sea and delayed signals representing the time change of layer thickness at the eastern boundary.
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Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2022. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 52(6), (2022): 1233-1244, https://doi.org/10.1175/jpo-d-21-0223.1.
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Citation
Chen, G., Huang, R., Peng, Q., & Chu, X. (2022). A time-dependent Sverdrup relation and its application to the Indian Ocean. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 52(6), 1233-1244.
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