Eddy-Kuroshio interactions : local and remote effects

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Jan, Sen
Mensah, Vigan
Andres, Magdalena
Chang, Ming-Huei
Yang, Yiing-Jang
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Mesoscale eddy
Quasi-geostrophic mesoscale eddies regularly impinge on the Kuroshio in the western North Pacific, but the processes underlying the evolution of these eddy-Kuroshio interactions have not yet been thoroughly investigated in the literature. Here this interaction is examined with results from a semi-idealized three-dimensional numerical model and observations from four pressure-sensor equipped inverted echo sounders (PIESs) in a zonal section east of Taiwan and satellite altimeters. Both the observations and numerical simulations suggest that, during the interaction of a cyclonic eddy with the Kuroshio, the circular eddy is deformed into an elliptic shape with the major axis in the northwest-southeast direction, before being dissipated; the poleward velocity and associated Kuroshio transport decrease and the sea level and pycnocline slopes across the Kuroshio weaken. In contrast, for an anticyclonic eddy during the eddy-Kuroshio interaction, variations in the velocity, sea level, and isopycnal depth are reversed; the circular eddy is also deformed to an ellipse but with the major axis parallel to the Kuroshio. The model results also demonstrate that the velocity field is modified first and consequently the SSH and isopycnal depth evolve during the interaction. Furthermore, due to the combined effect of impingement latitude and realistic topography, some eddy-Kuroshio interactions east of Taiwan are found to have remote effects, both in the Luzon Strait and on the East China Sea shelf northeast of Taiwan.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122 (2017): 9744–9764, doi:10.1002/2017JC013476.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122 (2017): 9744–9764
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