The goal of this project is to investigate the processes that determine the vertical structure and evolution of the upper ocean in Bay of Bengal (BoB) during the Monsoon Intraseasonal Oscillation (MISO), with a focus on developing innovative strategies to provide the measurements of air-sea fluxes needed to understand regional differences in surface fluxes and upper-ocean response in the MISO. The shallow salinity stratification in the BoB favors a relatively rapid response of the upper ocean to surface forcing, and we hypothesize that regional (south-to-north) variations in the upper-ocean salinity stratification and the atmospheric forcing are important factors in producing the observed SST response on intraseasonal timescales.

The MISO is a large-scale phenomenon, covering the full extent of the BoB. Several essential air-sea flux variables can only be adequately measured with in situ instrumentation (downward solar and infrared radiation, air temperature, and air humidity), and making these measurements on the time and space scales relevant for understanding air-sea interaction in the MISO is a difficult observational challenge. Making these measurements at several additional locations for MISO-BoB using conventional surface moorings would be too costly. We are thus employing an innovative approach to meet the challenge of resolving the large-scale spatial variability of air-sea fluxes in MISO-BoB, using surface buoys that are drogued to deeper waters (near 200-m depth). This allows the buoys to remain nearly stationary for 1-2 months, but without requiring the large buoy, miles of wire and rope, and heavy mooring hardware that are needed to anchor the buoy to the seafloor.

Page last updated: 2019/06/25