EGU General Assembly 2020
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Seasonality of Submesoscale processes in the Bay of Bengal

Lanman Li and Xuhua Cheng
Lanman Li and Xuhua Cheng
  • Hohai University, College of Oceanography, China (

Mesoscale eddies that known as a dominant reservoir of kinetic energy has been studied extensively for its dynamics and variation.In order to maintain energy budget equilibrium,the energy stored in mesoscale eddies is dissipated by small scale processes around centimeters.Submesoscale processes that lie between mesoscale and microscale motions effectively extract energy from mesoscale motions and transfer to smaller scales.The Bay of Bengal(the BOB) receives large fresh water from precipitation and river runoff resulting in strong salinity fronts that conducive to the generation of submesoscale processes.Using the Regional Ocean Modeling System(ROMS) data with two horizontal resolutions:a high-resolution(~1.6km) that is partially resolve submesoscale,and a low-resolution(~7km) that not resolves submesoscale,we focus on the seasonality of submesoscale processes in the Bay of Bengal.To ensure that only the submesoscale motions is considered,we choose 40km as the length to separate submesoscale from the flow field.Results show that submesocale processes is ubiquitous in the BOB,mainly trapped in the mixed layer.As resolution increasing,submesoscale motions become much stronger.Seasonality of submesoscale in the BOB is apparent and is different from the Gulf stream region  which is strongest in winter and weakest in summer.Submesoscale features in this region mostly present in fall,which the most important mechanisms is frontogenesis due to strong horizontal buoyancy flux associated with large strain.Submesoscale motions is also vigorous in winter.The proposed mechanism is that the depth of mixed layer is deep enough which contributes to the occurrence of mixed layer instability.During the whole year,mesoscale strain field is weakest in summer,which makes submesoscale weakest.

How to cite: Li, L. and Cheng, X.: Seasonality of Submesoscale processes in the Bay of Bengal, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12390,, 2020


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