R. Dwi Susanto

No longer at LDEO: 
Adjunct Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
Director Indonesian Research Coordinator
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Fields of interest: 
Physical Oceanography, Marine Remote Sensing

My research goal is directed at the quantitative study of the oceanography of tropical region and its impact to larger scale climate system. The present research focus is on the exchange of water between the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans known as Arlindo (Arus lintas Indonesia in Indonesian, meaning the Indonesian throughflow [ITF]). This topic is important for resolving the rather complex regional oceanography and the associated ecosystem and specifically for understanding the ENSO, Indian Ocean Dipole, and Asian-Australian Monsoon climate phenomena. The ITF is considered to be a key component in shaping the Pacific and Indian Ocean heat and freshwater budgets and climate phenomena responding through the resultant sea surface temperature patterns.

I have been working on Arlindo a joint project between Indonesia and the USA, In recent years, many successful ITF monitoring programs provided a first look at the variability of the ITF from its Pacific source region, through the internal seas, and out to the southeast Indian Ocean. However, these ITF measurement programs lacked of temporal coherence: the observational data cover different time periods and depths in the different passages of the complex pathways leading to the Indian Ocean. This has lead to ambiguity of the mean and variable nature of the ITF, and the transformation of the thermohaline and transport profiles within the interior seas. To remedy this and as continuation to the Arlindo program, we have a newly funded program known as INSTANT (International Nusantara and Stratification) a coordinated international effort involving contributions of 5 countries (USA, France, Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia). We have successfully deployed 11 moorings in the major inflow and outflow of ITF passages in Dec.03-Jan.04. The INSTANT objectives are: To determine the full depth velocity and property structure of the Throughflow and its associated heat and freshwater flux, To resolve the annual, seasonal, and intraseasonal characteristics of the ITF transport and property flux, To investigate the storage and modification of the ITF waters within the internal Indonesian seas, from their Pacific source characteristics to the ITF water exported into the Indian Ocean, and To contribute to the design of a cost-effective, long-term monitoring strategy for the ITF.

Currently I am working on analysis of sub-mesoscale features (the spatial scale is from 100m to 10km) in the Indonesian Seas. The main objective is to study generation mechanism, dynamics, evolution and propagation of sub-mesoscale features. The overall questions are: What is main driving force for the sub-mesoscale generation? What causes of the variability and evolution? Do the throughflow and monsoon systems affect the variability? The hypothesis is that variability of ITF and tidal current as well as complex geometry and bathymetry of the strait control generation mechanism, evolution, and propagation directions of the sub-mesoscale features (fronts, jets, eddies and internal waves).

Some of my projects include:

  • SITE: South China Sea-Indonesian Seas Transport/Exchange
  • Reconstructing tropical Pacific climate variability from ice core in Indonesia and Peru

  • INSTANT: International Nusantara Stratification and Transport Program
  • Sunda Strait Dynamics
  • Interocean transport from satellite altimeter and ocean bottom pressure
  • Analysis of Submesoscale in the Indonesian Seas
  • Upwelling along the coast of Java and Sumatra and its relation to throughflow, climate phenomena and Productivity
  • Indo-Pacific Sea level and Sea Surface Temperature Variability
  • Climate impacts to fisheries and primary productivity variability in the Indonesia Seas



List of degrees from highest to lowest:
University of Delaware
M. Ocean Eng
M. Eng. Sci
Louisiana State University
Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia
Referenced in the Following News Items: 
Selected Publications: 
Makassar Strait Throughflow, 2004 to 2006, Gordon, A. L., Susanto, R. D., Ffield, A. Huber, B. A., Pranowo, W., Wirasantosa, S. , Geop Res Letts, Volume 35, Issue L24605, , (2008), 10.1029/2008GL036372

Observations and proxies of the surface layer throughflow in Lombok Strait, Susanto, R. D.; Gordon, A. L.; Sprintall, J. , Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, Mar 31, Volume 112, Issue C3, p.-, (2007), Doi 10.1029/2006jc003790

Statistical and dynamical analyses of generation mechanisms of solitary internal waves in the northern South China Sea, Zheng, Q.; Susanto, R. D.; Ho, C. R.; Song, Y. T.; Xu, Q. , Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, Mar 30, Volume 112, Issue C3, p.-, (2007), Doi 10.1029/2006jc003551

Solitary waves in fluids, Zheng, Q; Susanto, RD , Oceanography, (2007)

The first 1.5 years of INSTANT data reveal the complexities of the Indonesian Throughflow, Gordon A L; Soesilo, I; Brodjonegoro, I; Ffield, A; Jaya, I; Molcard, R; Sprintall, J; Susanto, RD; van Aken, H; Wijffels, S; Wirasantosa S; , CLIVAR Exchange, Volume 11, Issue 4, (2007)

Ocean color variability in the Indonesian Seas during the SeaWiFS era, Susanto, R. D.; Moore, T. S.; Marra, J. , Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, May 24, Volume 7, p.-, (2006), Doi 10.1029/2005gc001009

Velocity and transport of the Makassar Strait throughflow, Susanto, R. D.; Gordon, A. L. , Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, Jan 26, Volume 110, Issue C1, p.-, (2005), Doi 10.1029/2004jc002425

Ocean internal waves observed in the Lombok Strait, Susanto, R. D.; Mitnik, L.; Zheng, Q. , Oceanography, Volume 18, Issue 4, p.80-87, (2005)

Notes on the upper-layer interocean circulation of the South China Sea, Fang, G; Susanto, R.D.; Soesilo, I; Zheng, Q.; Qiao, F.; Wei, Z. , Advances in Atmospheric Sciences , Volume 22, Issue 6, p.946-954, (2005)

The effect on 1997/98 El Nino on chlorophyll-a concentration along the southern coasts of Java and Sumatra, Susanto, R. D.; Marra J. , Oceanography, Volume 18, Issue 4, p.124-127, (2005)

A New International Array to Measure the Indonesian Throughflow: INSTANT, Sprintall, J.; Wijffels, S; Gordon, A.L; Ffield, A.; Molcard, R.; Susanto, R.D.; Soesilo, I.; Sopaheluwakan, J.; Surachman, Y.; van Aken, H.M. , EOS Trans. AGU, Volume 85, Issue 39, p.369-384, (2004)

Cool Indonesian throughflow as a consequence of restricted surface layer flow, Gordon, A. L.; Susanto, R. D.; Vranes, K. , Nature, Oct 23, Volume 425, Issue 6960, p.824-828, (2003), Doi 10.1038/Nature02038

Estimating transport in Makassar Strait, Wajsowicz, R. C.; Gordon, A. L.; Ffield, A.; Susanto, R. D. , Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography, Volume 50, Issue 12-13, p.2163-2181, (2003), Doi 10.1016/S0967-0645(03)00051-1

Identification of three dominant rainfall regions within Indonesia and their relationship to sea surface temperature, Aldrian, E.; Susanto, R. D. , International Journal of Climatology, Oct, Volume 23, Issue 12, p.1435-1452, (2003), Doi 10.1002/Joc.950

Upwelling along the coasts of Java and Sumatra sand its relation to ENSO, Susanto, R. D.; Gordon, A. L.; Zheng, Q. N. , Geophysical Research Letters, Apr 15, Volume 28, Issue 8, p.1599-1602, (2001)

Banda Sea Surface Layer Divergence, Gordon, A.L.; Susanto, R.D. , Ocean Dynamics, Volume 52, Issue 1, p.2-10, (2001)

Intraseasonal variability and tides in Makassar Strait, Susanto, R. D.; Gordon, A. L.; Sprintall, J.; Herunadi, B. , Geophysical Research Letters, May 15, Volume 27, Issue 10, p.1499-1502, (2000)

A semiannual Indian Ocean forced Kelvin wave observed in the Indonesian seas in May 1997, Sprintall, J.; Gordon, A. L.; Murtugudde, R.; Susanto, R. D. , Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, Jul 15, Volume 105, Issue C7, p.17217-17230, (2000)

Temperature variability within Makassar Strait, Ffield, A.; Vranes, K.; Gordon, A. L.; Susanto, R. D.; Garzoli, S. L. , Geophysical Research Letters, Jan 15, Volume 27, Issue 2, p.237-240, (2000)

Multisensor studies on El Nino-Southern Oscillations and variabilities in equatorial Pacific, Yan, X.-H.; He, Y.; Susanto, R.D.; Liu, W.T. , J. Adv. Marine Science and Technology , Volume 4, Issue 2, p.289-301, (2000)

Throughflow within Makassar Strait, Gordon, A. L.; Susanto, R. D.; Ffield, A. , Geophysical Research Letters, Nov 1, Volume 26, Issue 21, p.3325-3328, (1999)

Makassar Strait transport: Initial estimate based on Arlindo results, Gordon, A. L.; Susanto, R. D. , Marine Technology Society Journal, Win, Volume 32, Issue 4, p.34-45, (1998)

Observation of equatorial Kelvin solitary wave in the Pacific Ocean using TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter data, Zheng, Q.; Susanto, R.D.; Yan, X.-H.; Liu, W.T.; Ho, C.-R. , Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, Volume 5, p.153-165, (1998)

Complex Singular Value Decomposition Analysis of Equatorial Waves in the Pacific Observed by TOPEX/POSEIDON Altimeter, Susanto, R.D.; Zheng, Q.; Yan, X.-H. , Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Volume 15, p.764-774, (1998)