Spatial and Temporal Variations of the Kuroshio East of Taiwan, 1982-2005: A numerical study

Hsin, Y.-C.
C.-R. Wu
P.-T. Shaw
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American Geophysical Union (AGU)
A 1/8 East Asian Marginal Seas model nested to a larger-domain North Pacific Ocean model is implemented over a span of 24 years from 1982 to 2005 to investigate the spatial and temporal variations of the Kuroshio east of Taiwan. Between 22 and 25 N, the mean state and variability of the Kuroshio, such as the two paths observed in the trajectories of surface drifters southeast of Taiwan and the branching of the Kuroshio northeast of Taiwan, are well reproduced by the model. Southeast of Taiwan, the Kuroshio is mostly in the top 300 m in the inshore path but extends to 600 m in the offshore path. Northeast of Taiwan, the Kuroshio follows the shelf edge in the East China Sea but may branch along a path south of the Ryukyu Islands. The latter path often meanders southward, and a significant portion of the Kuroshio transport may be diverted to this path. The Kuroshio extends from the coast to 123–123.5 E between 22 and 25 N with currents reaching a depth of 1000 m at some latitudes. The Kuroshio transports averaged over five sections east of Taiwan are 28.4 ± 5.0 Sv and 32.7 ± 4.4 Sv with and without the contribution from the countercurrent, respectively.