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Response of the Bay of Bengal to super cyclone Amphan examined using synergistic satellite and in-situ observations

, Chiranjivi Jayaram
Published: 14 October 2021

Abstract: Tropical cyclone Amphan is the first super cyclone that happened in the north Indian Ocean in the last 20 years. In this work, multi-platform datasets were used to investigate the responses of the upper ocean to cyclone Amphan. The most striking response was the cold wake left by the cyclone spanning the entire Bay of Bengal with an amplitude up to ∼4°C. Satellite salinity observations revealed that the maximum increase in surface salinity was ∼1.5 PSU on the right side of the track of Amphan. Surface circulation was also observed to be modulated with the passage of a cyclone with a rightward bias in the change in its speed and direction. The currents observed from a moored buoy showed strong inertial oscillations. Argo observations showed that changes induced by the cyclone occurred up to 150 m depth of the cyclone and ocean heat content in the upper 150 m depth decreased due to the passage of the cyclone. There was an enhancement of surface chlorophyll concentration (∼1.5 mg/m3) after the passage of the cyclone, which was centred along the track of the cyclone where the winds were the highest. Mixed layer heat and salinity budget analysis showed that the sea surface cooling and increase in salinity was primarily driven by vertical mixing processes, though horizontal advection contributed meagrely. This study also brings forward the fact that regional differences exist in the responses of the ocean to the forcing of cyclones.
Keywords: passage / cyclone Amphan / responses / cyclone occurred / changes induced / upper ocean / using synergistic

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