[IIOE2-EP21] Physical study of the Northwestern Indian Ocean and of the adjacent seas / etude PHYSique de l'ocean INDIEN nord-ouest et des mers adjacentes (PHYSINDIEN)

Lead Investigator and other key participant (s):

  1. Dr. Xavier Carton , Laboratory of Ocean Physics and Remote Sensing, European Institute of Marine Science, University of Western Brittany, Brest, France

Period of Project: January, 2011 to January, 2021

Brief description of the Project:

The Physindien program was started in 2011 and is going on. It focuses on the Arabian Sea (AS) and on the adjacent seas and gulfs: Red Sea (RS), Gulf of Aden (GA), Sea of Oman (SO), Persian Gulf (PG). It is comprised of experiments at sea (Physindien 2011-1/2 and Physindien 2014-1/2), of data analysis, of process studies and of realistic, regional, numerical modeling. It is carried out by IUEM/LOPS and by SHOM/HOM (Brest and Toulouse, France). Its aims are to:

  1. determine the main processes by which mesoscale vortices, currents and other dynamical features are generated, maintained, interact or decay in this region;
  2. study how the warm and salty water outflows from the RS and PG spread out and evolve in the GA, SO and AS; study how the mesoscale features influence this spreading and evolution;
  3. determine the submesoscale features resulting from these interactions, or instabilities, their 3D structure, their dynamics and interactions;
  4. determine the diffusivity associated with these motions for the decay of RSW and PGW from their source.
  5. study the interaction between these outflows, the wind induced currents and the upper ocean layers (e.g. the upwelling currents and filaments)
  6. devise, test and run a high resolution, primitive equation model on the area, with nested subdomains modeled at very high resolution
  7. use this (scientifically validated) model as a basis for a regional forecast model, constrained by data assimilation.

Region of study

The region of study is the Arabian Sea (AS) and the adjacent seas and gulfs: Red Sea (RS), Gulf of Aden (GA), Sea of Oman (SO), Persian Gulf (PG). Future experiments at sea should concentrate on the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea. Indeed, previous measurement efforts have concentrated on the northern Arabian Sea, on the Sea of Oman and on the Persian Gulf.