Impacts of the 2019 strong IOD and monsoon events on Indian Ocean Sea Surface Salinity
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Impacts of the 2019 strong IOD and monsoon events on Indian Ocean Sea Surface Salinity

  • 2021

  • Source: Remote Sens Earth Syst Sci 4, 158–171 (2021)
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  • Journal Title:
    Remote Sensing Earth System Sciences
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    The impact of the 2019 super positive Indian Ocean Dipole (PIOD) event, the strongest in the last four decades, which also co-occurred with an El Niño and a strong summer monsoon, on Indian Ocean sea surface salinity (SSS) is examined using the Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite measurements. Salt budget estimation suggests a predominant, nearly ocean-wide influence by surface freshwater flux and horizontal advective terms. Subsurface ocean influence on the salt budget occurs mainly in the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean (SETIO). The PIOD event suppressed the influence of the El Niño, thereby causing anomalous high precipitation in western India, and leading to an unusual freshening in the southeastern Arabian Sea (AS), which is subsequently advected towards the equatorial Indian Ocean (EIO). In the western Bay of Bengal (BoB), following the waning of monsoon-influenced precipitation in the fall, SSS becomes anomalously salty and traverses towards the AS against the flow of anomalous surface currents. During the peak of the summer monsoon in August–September and the peak of the PIOD event in September–November, SSS in the EIO exhibited tendency for freshening, mainly driven by westward advection of freshwater from the eastern BoB. Conversely, in the SETIO, there was tendency for salinification due to suppression of precipitation, enhanced upwelling of high subsurface salinity, and northward advection of salty water. During December to January of the following year, these salinity tendencies reversed, with salinification in the EIO and freshening in the SETIO.
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    Remote Sens Earth Syst Sci 4, 158–171 (2021)
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