ENSO to multi-decadal time scale changes in East Australian Current transports and Fort Denison sea level: Oceanic Rossby waves as the connecting mechanism

Holbrook, Neil J. and Goodwin, Ian D. and McGregor, Shayne and Molina, Ernesto and Power, Scott B. (2011) ENSO to multi-decadal time scale changes in East Australian Current transports and Fort Denison sea level: Oceanic Rossby waves as the connecting mechanism. Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 58 (5). pp. 547-558. ISSN 0967-0645


The connection between East Australian Current (EAC) transport variability and Australia's east coast sea level has received little treatment in the literature. This is due in part to the complex interacting physical processes operating in the coastal zone combined with the sparsity of observations available to improve our understanding of these possible connections. This study demonstrates a statistically significant (at the >90% level) relationship between interannual to decadal time scale variations in observed estimates of the EAC transport changes and east coast sea level measured at the high-quality, long record Fort Denison tide-gauge in Sydney Harbour, Australia (33°51'18'S, 151°13'32'E). We further demonstrate, using a linear reduced-gravity ocean model, that ENSO to decadal time-scale variations and the ocean-adjusted multi-decadal trend (approx. 1 cm/decade) in observed sea level at Fort Denison are strongly connected to modulations of EAC transports by incoming westward propagating oceanic Rossby waves. We show that EAC transport and Fort Denison sea level vary in a manner expected from both Tasman Sea generated Rossby waves, which account for the interannual and multi-annual variability, and remotely forced (from east of New Zealand) Rossby wave connections through the mid-latitudes, accounting for the ocean-adjusted multi-decadal trend observed at the New South Wales coast - with the regional-Tasman Sea forcing explaining the greatest overall proportion of EAC transport and sea-level variances.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2022 02:12
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 02:12
Uncontrolled Keywords: General; Atmospheric Properties; Marine Science and Oceanography; Organic Compounds; Air-sea interaction; Air masses, Atmospheric motion; COASTAL AND OCEAN ENGINEERING; Annual variability; Australia; Connecting mechanism; Current transport; Decadal timescale; East Australian Current; East coast; High quality; Inter-decadal pacific oscillations; Interannual; Midlatitudes; Multi-decadal time scale; New South Wales; New zealand; Ocean model; Physical process; Reduced-gravity model; Rossby wave; Strongly connected; Sydney Harbour; Time-scales; Transport variability; East Australian Current; El Niño - Southern Oscillation; Inter-decadal Pacific Oscillation; Reduced-gravity model; Rossby waves; Sea level
Fields of Research (2008): 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
Fields of Research (2020): 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3702 Climate change science > 370202 Climatology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960304 Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190502 Climate variability (excl. social impacts)
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180506 Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.06.007
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/42445

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