The equatorial West Pacific fresh pool at the end of the La Niña event in October/November 1996

M. Ioualalen, J. Holfort, G. Siedler and W. Zenk, C. Hénin and J. Picaut

Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 27, Issue 9, p. 1243-1246 doi:10.1029/1999GL002396


The salinity, temperature and current distributions have been measured during the TROPAC cruise (Oct./Nov. 1996) at two sections, i.e. 143°E and 150°E, during the final phase of the 1995/1996 La Niña. The results present evidence that the fresh pool and the salinity front at its eastern boundary had moved far to the west, and that a barrier layer existed in that phase. The observed currents support the idea that advective processes play an essential role in creating the thermo- haline structure during this ENSO phase. In relation with this process, it is found that the westward subduction mechanism of relatively dense eastern equatorial waters may apply during that phase.