THE PACIFIC AND INDIAN OCEAN EXCHANGE: ANALYSIS OF THE IMOS TIMOR PASSAGE AND OMBAI STRAIT MOORINGS
Abstract:A fundamental aspect of observing, describing, understanding and modeling the global climate and particularly the Maritime Continent, is a better knowledge of the fluxes of momentum, heat and freshwater in the ocean. The Indonesian seas are the only major low-latitude connection in the global oceans. This connection permits the transfer of Pacific waters into the Indian Ocean, known as the Indonesian Throughflow. The interaction of the Pacific and Indian basins and their modes of variability (El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)), both through atmospheric teleconnections and the ocean link via the Indonesian Throughflow, is now being hotly pursued in the research community.
We will present some initial findings from the 3-year time series (2011-2014) of the Timor Passage and Ombai Strait moorings. This mooring array is a component of the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), and builds on the earlier results of the INSTANT (2003-2006) observational program. The moorings comprise of velocity, temperature and salinity instruments. Observations from these moorings provide the required spatial and temporal coverage to understand ocean dynamics, the ocean’s role in climate variability and change, investigate forcing of the atmosphere and ocean and assess the realism of data-assimilative ocean models and coupled ocean-atmosphere models.