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Wind-driven changes of surface current, temperature, and chlorophyll observed by satellites north of New Guinea

Abstract : Satellite observations of wind, sea level and derived currents, sea surface temperature (SST), and chlorophyll are used to expand our understanding of the physical and biological variability of the ocean surface north of New Guinea. Based on scarce cruise and mooring data, previous studies differentiated a trade wind situation (austral winter) when the New Guinea Coastal Current (NGCC) flows northwestward and a northwest monsoon situation (austral summer) when a coastal upwelling develops and the NGCC reverses. This circulation pattern is confirmed by satellite observations, except in Vitiaz Strait where the surface northwestward flow persists. We find that intraseasonal and seasonal time scale variations explain most of the variance north of New Guinea. SST and chlorophyll variabilities are mainly driven by two processes: penetration of Solomon Sea waters and coastal upwelling. In the trade wind situation, the NGCC transports cold Solomon Sea waters through Vitiaz Strait in a narrow vein hugging the coast. Coastal upwelling is generated in westerly wind situations (westerly wind event, northwest monsoon). Highly productive coastal waters are advected toward the equator and, during some westerly wind events, toward the eastern part of the warm pool. During El Niño, coastal upwelling events and northward penetration of Solomon Sea waters combine to influence SST and chlorophyll anomalies.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01497605
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 7:35:14 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 10:20:38 AM

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Marie-Hélène Radenac, Fabien Léger, Monique Messié, Pierre Dutrieux, Christophe E. Menkès, et al.. Wind-driven changes of surface current, temperature, and chlorophyll observed by satellites north of New Guinea. Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016, 121 (4), pp.2231 - 2252. ⟨10.1002/2015jc011438⟩. ⟨hal-01497605⟩

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