National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2012

Impact of Indian Ocean Dipole and El Niño/Southern Oscillation forcing on the Wyrtki jets

Gnanaseelan, C., A. Deshpande, and M.J. McPhaden

J. Geophys. Res., 117, C08005, doi: 10.1029/2012JC007918 (2012)

Interannual variability of the Wyrtki jets is studied in the context of Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and El Niño and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) wind-forcing using a three dimensional numerical ocean model and observations. The boreal fall (October–November) Wyrtki jet is more significantly affected than the boreal spring (April–May) Wyrtki jet since both the IOD and ENSO tend to peak toward the end of the calendar year. Various statistical methods are used in an attempt to separate the impacts of the IOD and ENSO on these jets, with emphasis on the fall jet. The first two modes of an Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) decomposition account for about 90% and 85% of variability in zonal currents and wind stress respectively along the equator in the Indian Ocean, but EOF analysis does not cleanly separate out IOD and ENSO forcing and response. Partial correlation analysis reveals that IOD wind-forcing and zonal equatorial current response are stronger on average than for ENSO and extend further west across the basin. Composite analysis of IOD only, ENSO only, and combined IOD and ENSO years provides a complementary definition of the relative contributions of these two phenomena on Wyrtki jet variability and in general is consistent with the results of the partial correlation analysis.

Feature Publications | Outstanding Scientific Publications

Contact Sandra Bigley |