Downstream evolution of the Kuroshio's time-varying transport and velocity structure
Lee, Craig M.
Sanford, Thomas B.
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Observations from two companion field programs—Origins of the Kuroshio and Mindanao Current (OKMC) and Observations of Kuroshio Transport Variability (OKTV)—are used here to examine the Kuroshio's temporal and spatial evolution. Kuroshio strength and velocity structure were measured between June 2012 and November 2014 with pressure-sensor equipped inverted echo sounders (PIESs) and upward-looking acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) deployed across the current northeast of Luzon, Philippines, and east of Taiwan with an 8 month overlap in the two arrays' deployment periods. The time-mean net (i.e., integrated from the surface to the bottom) absolute transport increases downstream from 7.3 Sv (±4.4 Sv standard error) northeast of Luzon to 13.7 Sv (±3.6 Sv) east of Taiwan. The observed downstream increase is consistent with the return flow predicted by the simple Sverdrup relation and the mean wind stress curl field over the North Pacific (despite the complicated bathymetry and gaps along the North Pacific western boundary). Northeast of Luzon, the Kuroshio—bounded by the 0 m s−1 isotach—is shallower than 750 dbar, while east of Taiwan areas of positive flow reach to the seafloor (3000 m). Both arrays indicate a deep counterflow beneath the poleward-flowing Kuroshio (–10.3 ± 2.3 Sv by Luzon and −12.5 ± 1.2 Sv east of Taiwan). Time-varying transports and velocities indicate the strong influence at both sections of westward propagating eddies from the ocean interior. Topography associated with the ridges east of Taiwan also influences the mean and time-varying velocity structure there.
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): 3519–3542, doi:10.1002/2016JC012519.
Suggested CitationJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122 (2017): 3519–3542
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