The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is an important natural mode of the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO). Sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) variations in the TIO are an essential focus of the study of the IOD. Monthly variations of air-sea heat flux, rate of change of heat content and oceanic thermal advection in positive/negative IOD events (pIODs/nIODs) occurring after El Niño/La Niña were investigated, using long-series authoritative data, including sea surface wind, sea surface flux, ocean current, etc. It was found that the zonal wind anomaly induced by the initial SSTA gradient is the main trigger of IODs occurring after ENSOs. In pIODs, SSTA evolution in the TIO is primarily determined by the local surface heat flux anomaly, while in nIODs, it is controlled by anomalous oceanic thermal advection. The anomalous southwestern anticyclonic circulation in pIODs enhances regional differences in evaporative capacity and latent heat, and in nIODs, it augments the east-west difference in the advective thermal budget. Further, the meridional anomaly mechanism is also non-negligible during the development of nIODs. As the SWA moves eastward, the meridional SWA prevails near 60°E and the corresponding meridional anomalous current appears. The corresponding maximum meridional thermal advection anomaly reaches 200 W m −2 in September.