American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Analysis of Water Properties and Geostrophic Currents in Fiji Waters Before and After Tropical Cyclone Gene

Shivneel Prasad, Than Aung and Awnesh Singh

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2009.455.460

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 5, Issue 3

Pages 455-460

Abstract

Problem statement: Water properties influence ocean primary production and drive the ocean food chain. This study depicts changes in temperature and salinity and its effects on geostrophic currents near Fiji before and after Tropical Cyclone (TC) Gene. Approach: Available Argo float data from 6 January-4 February 2008 were used for analysis since TC Gene passed the area on 28 January 2008. The dynamic height and geostrophic current data were obtained from the Aviso website. Results: The thermocline depth increased by 20 m after the cyclone. A temperature drop of approximately 3°C was also noticed in the study area. Using this drop in temperature, the heat energy removed by the cyclone was calculated to be 0.095 MWh m-2. Salinity profiles showed an increase of 0.42 psu to a depth of 35 m after the cyclone. Changes in salinity and temperature of water may also cause changes in the dynamic height and in turn the geostrophic current patterns. After plotting the geostrophic current vectors, it was observed that the current patterns changed significantly after TC gene. Seasonal changes were also evident before the cyclone. Conclusion/Recommendations: Although the lifespan of TC gene was short, its effect on the water properties near Fiji was significant as it completely changed the geostrophic current patterns and this can have a huge implication on marine life.

Copyright

© 2009 Shivneel Prasad, Than Aung and Awnesh Singh. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.