Japan/East Sea intrathermocline eddies

Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2002
Authors  Gordon, A. L.; Giulivi, C. F.; Lee, C. M.; Furey, H. H.; Bower, A.; Talley, L.
Journal Title  Journal of Physical Oceanography
Volume  32
Issue  6
Pages  1960-1974
Journal Date  Jun
ISBN Number  0022-3670
Accession Number  ISI:000175816400021
Key Words  tsushima current; circulation
Abstract  

Intrathermocline eddies (ITE) with diameters of 100 km and of thickness greater than 100 m are observed within each of the three quasi-stationary meanders of the Tsushima Current of the Japan/East Sea. Within the ITE homogenous, anticyclonic flowing core, the temperature is near 10degreesC with a salinity of 34.12 psu. Because of compensatory baroclinicity of the upper and lower boundaries of the ITE core, the ITE has minor sea level expression. The ITE core displays positive oxygen and negative salinity anomalies in comparison to the surrounding thermocline water, indicative of formation from winter mixed layer water along the southern side of the Japan/East Sea subpolar front. The winter mixing layer is then overridden, or slips below, the regional upper thermocline stratification with its characteristic salinity maximum layer. The winter mixed layer off the coast of Korea closely matches the ITE core characteristics, and is considered as a potential source region. Other sources may be present along the southern boundary of the subpolar front, including a frequently observed warm eddy over the western side of Yamato Rise.

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