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Remote energy sources for mixing in the Indonesian Seas


Pang, C and Nikurashin, M and Pena-Molino, B and Sloyan, BM, Remote energy sources for mixing in the Indonesian Seas, Nature Communications, 13 Article 6535. ISSN 2041-1723 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2022. The Authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41467-022-34046-6


The role of the Indonesian Seas in climate is attributed to the intense mixing observed throughout the region. Mixing cools the surface temperature and hence modifies the atmospheric convection centered over the region. Mixing also controls the heat exchange between the Pacific and Indian Oceans by transforming water-mass properties while they transit through the region. Mixing in the Indonesian Seas has long been identified to be driven locally by tides. Here we show that the observed mixing can also be powered by the remotely generated planetary waves and eddies. We use a regional ocean model to show that the Indonesian Seas are a sink of the energy generated in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. We estimate that 1.7 GW of the remotely generated energy enters the region across all straits. The energy flux is surface intensified and characterized by a convergence, implying dissipation and mixing, within the straits and along topography. Locally, energy convergence associated with this process is comparable in magnitude to tidal energy dissipation, which dominates the deep ocean.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mixing, Indonesian Seas, eddies, Kelvin waves, Rossby waves, energy flux
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate change models
UTAS Author:Pang, C (Mr Chengyuan Pang)
UTAS Author:Nikurashin, M (Dr Maxim Nikurashin)
ID Code:154157
Year Published:2022
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP210100643)
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2022-11-04
Last Modified:2022-12-02
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