Study of the mixed layer depth variations within the north Indian Ocean using a 1-D model

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Babu, K. N.
Sharma, Rashmi
Agarwal, Neeraj
Agarwal, Vijay K.
Weller, Robert A.
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Biological heating
ERS scatterometer wind
Extinction depth
1-D mixed layer model
Mixed layer depth variations
Mixed layer depth (MLD) over the north Indian Ocean (30°S to 30°N and 40°E to 110°E) is computed using the simple one-dimensional model of Price et al. [1986] forced by satellite-derived parameters (winds and chlorophyll). Seasonal chlorophyll observations obtained from the Coastal Zone Color Scanner allow us to examine how biology interacts with physics in the upper ocean by changing the absorption of light and thus the heating by penetrative solar radiation, an effect we refer to as biological heating. Our analysis focus mainly on two aspects: the importance of varying biology in the model simulations relative to runs with constant biology and secondly, the contribution of biology to the seasonal variability of the MLD. The model results are compared with observations from a surface mooring deployed for 1 year (October 1994 to October 1995) in the central Arabian Sea and also with available conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) observations from the Arabian Sea during the period 1994–1995. The effect of biological heating on the upper ocean thermal structure in central Arabian Sea is found to be greatest in August. In other months it is either the wind, which is the controlling factor in mixed layer variations, or the density variations due to winter cooling and internal dynamics. A large number of CTD observations collected under the Joint Global Ocean Flux study and World Ocean Circulation Experiment have been used to validate model results. We find an overall improvement by approximately 2–3 m in root-mean-square error in MLD estimates when seasonally varying chlorophyll observations are used in the model.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2004. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 109 (2004): C08016, doi:10.1029/2003JC002024.
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Journal of Geophysical Research 109 (2004): C08016
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