[IIOE2-EP31] A Korea-US indianOcean Scientific (KUDOS) Research Program on the Physical, Biogeochemical and Ecological Dynamics of the Seychelles-Chagos Thermocline Ridge

Lead Investigator :

  1. Prof.Michael McPhaden , NOAA/PMEL,7600 Sand Point Way ,Seattle WA, USA

Other Key participants (s):

  1. Prof.Raleigh Hood, University of Maryland, USA
  2. Prof. Jerry Wiggert, University of Southern Mississippi, USA
  3. Prof. Uwe Send, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA
  4. Prof. TaeKeun Rho, KIOST, Korea
  5. Prof. Chan Joo Jang, KIOST, Korea
  6. Prof. Hyoun Woo Kang, KIOST, Korea
  7. Prof. Dennis Hansell, University of Miami, USA
  8. Prof. Robert Anderson,Columbia University, USA
  9. Prof. Dong-Jin Kang, KIOST, Korea
  10. Prof. Sang Hwa Choi, KIOST, Korea
  11. Prof. SungHyun Nam, Seoul National University, Korea
  12. Prof. Ungyul Yi, KIOST, Korea
  13. Prof. Youn-ho Lee, KIOST, Korea

Period of Project: 2020 to 2025

Brief description of the Project:

The Seychelles-Chagos Thermocline Ridge (SCTR) is a feature unique to the Indian Ocean it is a consequence of the meridional asymmetry in the Indian Ocean circulation that arises as a result of geometry of the Indian Ocean and its strong monsoon forcing. TheSCTR strongly influences atmospheric convection in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans via initiation of the Madden-JulianOscillation(MJO) and it is also an important foraging ground for tuna. Yet,in large part because of its remote location, the current understanding of the physical dynamics of the SCTR remains rudimentary at best, while knowledge of the biogeochemical and ecological dynamics is even less developed. Moreover, sea level has been falling and the thermocline shoaling in the SCTR region in association with a trend towards rising SSTs in the Indian Ocean since the 1960s. These trends are likely due to changes in atmospheric circulation in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing. How future global warming may affect the SCTR and its impacts on patterns of weather variability in the Indian Ocean region and over East Asia, North America, and other parts of the globe, is poorly known if at all. Likewise, how marine biogeochemistry, carbon cycling, ocean acidification, ecosystems and fisheries will change in the SCTR under continued anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing is highly uncertain.

The KUDOS science plan and implementation strategy for studying the SCTR is structured around five themes, each of which presents significant opportunities for profound advances in our ability to understand and predict dynamical variability in the region, its far field impacts, and its effects on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem function in the Indian Ocean. The five themes are: 1) ocean-atmosphere interactions; 2) ocean circulation; 3) biogeochemical and carbon cycles; 4) climate variability, change and extreme events; and 5) ecosystems and fisheries. The KUDOS plan includes a short list of high level scientific questions for each theme and an outline ofobservational and modeling implementation strategies for how to address them.

Region of study:

Seychelles Chagos Thermocline Ridge Region of the Indian Ocean