Climate Dynamics

, Volume 50, Issue 11–12, pp 3949–3980 | Cite as

Numerical simulation of the observed near-surface East India Coastal Current on the continental slope

  • A. Mukherjee
  • D. Shankar
  • Abhisek Chatterjee
  • P. N. Vinayachandran


We simulate the East India Coastal Current (EICC) using two numerical models (resolution \(0.1^{\circ } \times 0.1^{\circ }),\) an oceanic general circulation model (OGCM) called Modular Ocean Model and a simpler, linear, continuously stratified (LCS) model, and compare the simulated current with observations from moorings equipped with acoustic Doppler current profilers deployed on the continental slope in the western Bay of Bengal (BoB). We also carry out numerical experiments to analyse the processes. Both models simulate well the annual cycle of the EICC, but the performance degrades for the intra-annual and intraseasonal components. In a model-resolution experiment, both models (run at a coarser resolution of \(0.25^{\circ } \times 0.25^{\circ }\)) simulate well the currents in the equatorial Indian Ocean (EIO), but the performance of the high-resolution LCS model as well as the coarse-resolution OGCM, which is good in the EICC regime, degrades in the eastern and northern BoB. An experiment on forcing mechanisms shows that the annual EICC is largely forced by the local alongshore winds in the western BoB and remote forcing due to Ekman pumping over the BoB, but forcing from the EIO has a strong impact on the intra-annual EICC. At intraseasonal periods, local (equatorial) forcing dominates in the south (north) because the Kelvin wave propagates equatorward in the western BoB. A stratification experiment with the LCS model shows that changing the background stratification from EIO to BoB leads to a stronger surface EICC owing to strong coupling of higher order vertical modes with wind forcing for the BoB profiles. These high-order modes, which lead to energy propagating down into the ocean in the form of beams, are important only for the current and do not contribute significantly to the sea level.


Boundary currents Indian Ocean Rossby and Kelvin waves Mixed layer Nonlinearity 



The LCS and MOM4p1 simulations were initially carried out at the parallel computer Pravah at CSIR-NIO, but the final model simulations were carried out on Aaditya, the high-performace computer at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM, Pune); this system was accessed from INCOIS. We thank S. G. Aparna and Vineet Jain for help with the LCS model and Soumya Mukhopadhyay for questioning the role of equatorial forcing at intraseasonal periods. Comments from Julian McCreary on an earlier draft of this paper and from two anonymous reviewers helped improve it significantly. The FORTRAN code for wavelet analysis and the R package for wavelet coherence spectra were downloaded from and, respectively. Ferret was extensively used for analysis and graphics. This work was supported by Grants from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (under the Supra-Institutional Program of CSIR-NIO in the XI Plan and under OCEAN FINDER in the XII Plan) and the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) via INCOIS. P. N. Vinayachandran thanks INCOIS for support via their HOOFS programme. This paper is part of the Ph.D. work of Mr. Arnab Mukherjee. This is INCOIS contribution 303 and CSIR-NIO contribution 6085.

Supplementary material

382_2017_3856_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (7.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 7799 KB)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)HyderabadIndia
  2. 2.CSIR-National Institute of OceanographyGoaIndia
  3. 3.Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Indian Institute of ScienceBengaluruIndia

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