, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 189-205

Interannual Variations of Sea Level at the Nansei Islands and Volume Transport of the Kuroshio Due to Wind Changes

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Abstract

Interannual variations of sea level at the Nansei Islands and volume transport of the Kuroshio during 1967–95 are calculated by integrating variations carried by windforced Rossby waves. Effects of eddy dissipation and ocean ridges are considered. Ridge effect is inferred by comparing between the calculated and observed sea levels. The calculation is satisfactory to sea levels and Kuroshio transport for the whole period. They are mostly caused by Rossby waves forced by wind and modified by the ridges, and are due to barotropic wave primarily and the first baroclinic wave secondly. The calculated Kuroshio transport well represents variations of several-year scales with maximums in respective duration of the large meander (LM) of the Kuroshio, as well as bi-decadal variation that transport was small during the non-LM period of 1967–75 and large during the LM-dominant period of 1975–91. Mean volume transport of the subtropical gyre is estimated at 57 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3s−1) and divided by the Nansei Shoto Ridge into those of the Kuroshio in the East China Sea (25.5 Sv) and a subsurface current east of this ridge (31.5 Sv). The Subtropical Countercurrent and a southward deep current east of the Izu-Ogasawara Ridge are estimated at 16 Sv and 7 Sv, respectively. The calculated transports of the Kuroshio and other subtropical currents reach maximums at every El Niño event due to strong excitement of upwelling barotropic Rossby wave.