Interannual variability of the Indonesian Throughflow: The salinity effect

Citation:
Hu, SJ, Sprintall J.  2016.  Interannual variability of the Indonesian Throughflow: The salinity effect. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 121:2596-2615.

Date Published:

2016/04

Keywords:

circulation, climate system, exchange, pacific-ocean, part ii, pathways, seas, temperature, tropical indian-ocean, water

Abstract:

The Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) region possesses strong mixing and experiences significant freshwater input, but the role of salinity variability in the Indonesian Seas remains unclear. The goal of this study is to understand how salinity variability influences the ITF transport on interannual time scales. The ITF transport is calculated using observations and assimilation data sets and verified using direct ITF transport estimates. We find that the halosteric component of the ITF transport contributes (36 +/- 7)% of the total ITF variability, in contrast to (63 +/- 6)% by the thermosteric component. Thus, while not dominant, this result nonetheless implies that the salinity variability in the Indonesian Seas is of remarkable importance in determining the interannual variability of ITF transport. Correlation analysis indicates that the interannual variability of the total ITF transport is mainly influenced by the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) rather than the Indian Ocean Dipole. Under the ENSO cycle, the Walker Circulation shifts longitudinally resulting in fluctuations in precipitation over the Indonesian Seas that modulates salinity and subsequently influences the interannual variability of ITF transport. This result signals the importance of precipitation and the subsequent salinity effect in determining the interannual variability of the ITF transport. The role of wind forcing and oceanic planetary waves is also revisited using this newly calculated ITF transport series. ENSO-related wind forcing is found to modulate the ITF transport via Rossby waves through the wave guide in the Indonesian Seas, which is in agreement with previous studies.

Notes:

n/a

Website

DOI:

10.1002/2015jc011495