The deep-water motion through the lifamatola passage and its contribution to the Indonesian throughflow
M. van Aken, Hendrik
Brodjonegoro, Irsan S.
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In order to estimate the contribution of cold Pacific deep water to the Indonesian throughflow (ITF) and the flushing of the deep Banda Sea. a current meter mooring has been deployed for nearly 3 years on the sill in the Lifamatola Passage as part of the International Nusantara Stratification and Transport (INSTANT) programme. The temperature. and salinity data. obtained from the mooring. reflect vigorous horizontal and vertical motion in the lowest 500 m over the ~2000 m deep sill. with speeds regularly surpassing 100 cm/s. The strong residual flow over the sill in the passage and internal. mainly diurnal. tides contribute to this bottom intensified motion. The average volume transport of the deep throughflow from the Maluku Sea to the Seram Sea below 1250 m is 2.5 Sv (1 Sv = 10" mJ /s). with a transport -weighted mean temperature of 3.2 c. This result considerably increases existing estimates of the inflow of the ITF into the Indonesian seas by about 25% and lowers the total mean inflow temperature of the ITF to below 13 C. At shallower levels. between 1250 m and the sea surface. the flow is directed towards the Maluku Sea. north of the passage. The typical residual velocities in this layer are low (~3 cm/s), contributing to an estimated northward flow of 0.9-1.3 Sv. When more results from the INSTANT programme for the other Indonesian passages become available. a strongly improved estimate of the mass and heat budget of the ITF becomes feasible.