Connection of sea level height between Western Pacific and South Indian Ocean in recent decades

Friday, 19 December 2014
Yan DU1, Tianyu Wang1, Wei Zhuang1 and Jinbo Wang2, (1)SCSIO South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Acaademy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China, (2)WHOI, Woods Hole, MA, United States
Based on merged altimetry data and in site observations from tide gauges, we analyzed the fast increasing trend of sea surface height (SSH) in the recent two decades in the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean. The results of analysis indicated a dynamic connection of SSH between the tropical western Pacific and the southeastern Indian Ocean. The low-frequency variations of SSH propagate westward in the tropical Pacific, enter the Indonesian Seas through the waveguide, and influence the southeastern India Ocean with the Kelvin-Rossby wave transformation. The thermal structure of upper ocean reveals the above adjustment mainly occur in the thermocline. However, the impacts from the Pacific are limited in the southeast Indian Ocean. In the central and west of the south Indian Ocean, local wind dominates the SSH changes in the last two decades. By lead-lag statistic analyses, we identified the cause of interdecadal from the interannual SSH variations. The interannual SSH variations is dominated by ENSO, forced by the anomalous wind along the equatorial Pacific. Whereas, the interdecadal SSH variations results from the off-equatorial wind stress curl, which is closely related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The dynamic connections between the western Pacific and the south Indian Ocean were tested in the baroclinic Rossby wave solution and the numerical experiments based on the nonlinear reduced-gravity dynamics model.