Research Article Open Access

General Circulation in the Malacca Strait and Andaman Sea: A Numerical Model Study

Syamsul Rizal1, Peter Damm2, Mulyadi A. Wahid1, Jürgen Sundermann2, Yopi Ilhamsyah1, Taufiq Iskandar1 and Muhammad1
  • 1 Universitas Syiah Kuala, Indonesia
  • 2 Universität Hamburg, Germany


In the Andaman Sea and Malacca Strait, as in other parts of the Indian Ocean, the seasonal change of the wind plays a most important role: the south-west (hereafter SW) is monsoon active from June through September and the north-east (hereafter NE) monsoon is active from December through February. During the NE monsoon the winds are directed from the north and northeast to the south-west, and during the SW monsoon from the south-west to the north-east. Strong winds between June and September lead to maximum rainfall over most parts of the Indian subcontinent. These areas are also greatly influenced by the tides. The circulation in the Andaman Sea and the Malacca Strait is simulated with a three-dimensional baroclinic primitive equation model. In order to run the model, the HAMSOM model is used. The model is forced by tides at the open boundaries as well as by wind and heat flux. We use also the NCEP/NCAR data. The M2-tide amplitudes are bigger in the shallow areas in the northwest part coast of Andaman Sea and in the Malacca Strait. The phases of M2 tide shows that the M2 tidal wave come from Indian Ocean and bifurcates to the Andaman Sea and Malacca Strait. The current ellipses of M2-tide are also stronger in the shallow areas both in the Andaman Sea and Malacca Strait. There are two types of tidal distribution in the Andaman Sea and Malacca Strait. In the Indian Ocean part and in the middle of the Malacca Strait, the type is mixed tide prevailing semi diurnal, while in the Andaman Sea and the southern part of the Malacca Strait the type is semi diurnal tide. Generally, the general circulation caused by tides, heat flux and wind both for NE and SW monsoon shows the same pattern. These general circulation patterns, vertical structure of temperature and salinity in the Malacca Strait are compared with the observations carried out by other researchers. Based on those comparisons, the results of the model are reasonable. It means, the HAMSOM model can be used for the simulation of the Andaman Sea and Malacca Strait.

American Journal of Environmental Sciences
Volume 8 No. 5, 2012, 479-488


Submitted On: 10 May 2012 Published On: 11 August 2012

How to Cite: Rizal, S., Damm, P., Wahid, M. A., Sundermann, J., Ilhamsyah, Y., Iskandar, T. & Muhammad, (2012). General Circulation in the Malacca Strait and Andaman Sea: A Numerical Model Study. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 8(5), 479-488.

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  • Tides
  • Sea Surface Temperature
  • Seasonal Circulation
  • Three-Dimensional Model
  • Malacca Strait
  • Andaman Sea