Mantle 3He distribution and deep circulation in the Indian Ocean



[1] The World Ocean Circulation Experiment Indian Ocean helium isotope data are mapped and features of intermediate and deep circulation are inferred and discussed. The 3He added to the deep Indian Ocean originates from (1) a strong source on the mid-ocean ridge at about 19°S/65°E, (2) a source located in the Gulf of Aden in the northwestern Indian Ocean, (3) sources located in the convergent margins in the northeastern Indian Ocean, and (4) water imported from the Indonesian Seas. The main circulation features inferred from the 3He distribution include (1) deep (2000–3000 m) eastward flow in the central Indian Ocean, which overflows into the West Australian Basin through saddles in the Ninetyeast Ridge, (2) a deep (2000–3000 m) southwestward flow in the western Indian Ocean, and (3) influx of Banda Sea Intermediate Waters associated with the deep core (1000–1500 m) of the through flow from the Pacific Ocean. The large-scale 3He distribution is consonant with the known pathways of deep and bottom water circulation in the Indian Ocean.