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Seasonal and interannual variations of upper ocean heat balance off the west coast of Australia

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Feng, M and Biastoch, A and Boning, C and Caputi, N and Meyers, G (2008) Seasonal and interannual variations of upper ocean heat balance off the west coast of Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113 (C12025). pp. 1-16. ISSN 0148-0227

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Abstract

The Leeuwin Current, a warm, poleward flowing eastern boundary current, dominates
the surface circulation off the west coast of Australia and has profound influence on
regional marine ecosystem and fisheries recruitment. In this study, the seasonal and
interannual variations of upper ocean heat balance in the Leeuwin Current region are
analyzed by using an eddy-resolving numerical model simulation, as a first step to
quantify the climate impacts on regional ocean thermodynamics and marine ecosystem.
The volume transport and heat advection of the Leeuwin Current are stronger during the
austral winter on the seasonal cycle and are stronger during a La Nina event on the
interannual scale. On both seasonal and interannual timescales, the mixed layer heat
budget off the west coast of Australia is predominantly balanced between the variations of
the Leeuwin Current heat advection and heat flux across the air-sea interface. On the
interannual timescale, the variation of the Leeuwin Current heat advection tends to lead
that of the air-sea (latent) heat flux by two months, which is likely a reflection of advection
timescales of the Leeuwin Current and its eddy field. The interannual variation of the
average February–April sea surface temperature off the west coast of Australia, which is
crucial for the larval settlement of western rock lobster, is mostly influenced by the
Leeuwin Current heat advection as well as the ocean memory from the previous austral
winter, with the air-sea heat exchange playing a buffering role.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geophysical Research
Page Range: pp. 1-16
ISSN: 0148-0227
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1029/2008JC004908
Additional Information:

An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2008) American Geophysical Union.

Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2009 05:04
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:03
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