Dynamical significance of tides over the Bay of Bengal

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Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, ISSN: 0377-0265, Vol: 82, Page: 89-106

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Chirantan Bhagawati; Suchita Pandey; Sumit Dandapat; Arun Chakraborty
Elsevier BV
Earth and Planetary Sciences
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article description
Tides play a significant role in the ocean surface circulations and vertical mixing thereby influencing the Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) as well. This, in turn, plays an important role in the global circulation when used as a lower boundary condition in a global atmospheric general circulation model. Therefore in the present study, the dynamics of tides over the Bay of Bengal (BoB) is investigated through numerical simulations using a high resolution (1/12°) Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS). Based on statistical analysis it is observed that incorporation of explicit tidal forcing improves the model performance in simulating the basin averaged monthly surface circulation features by 64% compared to the simulation without tides. The model simulates also Mixed Layer Depth (MLD) and SST realistically. The energy exchange between tidal oscillations and eddies leads to redistribution of surface kinetic energy density with a net decrease of 0.012 J m -3 in the western Bay and a net increase of 0.007 J m -3 in the eastern Bay. The tidal forcing also affects the potential energy anomaly and vertical mixing thereby leading to a fall in monthly MLD over the BoB. The mixing due to tides leads to a subsequent reduction in monthly SST and a corresponding reduction in surface heat exchange. These results from the numerical simulation using ROMS reveal that tides have a significant influence over the air-sea heat exchange which is the most important parameter for prediction of Tropical Cyclone frequency and its future variability over the BoB.