Hydrological and chlorofluoromethane measurements of the Indonesian throughflow entering the Indian Ocean


  • M. Fieux,

  • C. Andrié,

  • E. Charriaud,

  • A. G. Ilahude,

  • N. Metzl,

  • R. Molcard,

  • J. C. Swallow


The Java Australia Dynamic Experiment high-resolution February–March 1992 conductivity-temperature-depth and chlorofluoromethane section obtained between Australia and Bali and on the sills between Flores, Sumba, Sawu, Roti, and the Australian continental shelf allows detailed examination of the water masses distribution and their inferred circulation. A sharp hydrological front between the Indonesian waters and the southern Indian Ocean waters is found between 13°S and 14°S in both seasons (February–March 1992 and August 1989). It separates the high-salinity surface waters to the south from the lower-salinity surface waters derived from the Indonesian Seas to the north. It reaches the surface in February 1992, whereas it was capped by a particularly low salinity surface layer in August 1989. Near Bali, the NW monsoon of February–March produces large intrusions of low-salinity water from the Java Sea, through Lombok Strait in the upper 100 m. At depth, the North Indian Intermediate Water, flowing along the Indonesian coast, brings salty, low-oxygen and low-chlorofluorocarbon water. It enters the Sawu Sea through Sumba Strait toward the east, while it undergoes strong mixing with the Indonesian Seas water. The primary pathway of the Indonesian waters is found north of the front and south of the North Indian Intermediate Water, between 13°S and 9°30′S, and the associated salinity minimum can be followed all across the Indian Ocean.