A summer monsoon pump to keep the Bay of Bengal salty
Article first published online: 14 MAY 2013
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 40, Issue 9, pages 1777–1782, 16 May 2013
How to Cite
2013), A summer monsoon pump to keep the Bay of Bengal salty, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 1777–1782, doi:10.1002/grl.50274., , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 13 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 14 MAY 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 25 FEB 2013 11:00AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 1 FEB 2013
- CTCZ programme of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
- Bay of Bengal;
- salt pumping;
 The Bay of Bengal receives a large influx of freshwater from precipitation and river discharge. Outflow of excess freshwater and inflow of saltier water is required to prevent the bay from freshening. Relatively fresh water flows out of the bay along its boundaries and inflow of saltier water occurs via the Summer Monsoon Current (SMC), which flows eastward from the Arabian Sea into the bay. This saltier water, however, slides under the lighter surface water of the bay. Maintaining the salt balance of the bay therefore demands upward mixing of this saltier, subsurface water. Here, we show that an efficient mechanism for this mixing is provided by upward pumping of saltier water in several bursts during the summer monsoon along the meandering path of the SMC. Advection by currents can then take this saltier water into the rest of the basin, allowing the bay to stay salty despite a large net freshwater input.