Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 193–210 | Cite as

Low frequency current variability on the shelf break northeast of Taiwan

  • T. Y. Tang
  • Y. J. Yang


A buoy-mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler was deployed on the shelf break off the northeast coast of Taiwan to monitor current variations in the upper ocean. The acquired data show that the flow in the upper water column was initially southwest and then abruptly turned northwest. This abrupt change occurred in mid-October, starting from the surface layer and then gradually extending to the deeper layer. In contrast with this flow, the flow in the lower water column was southwest over the entire record, but its amplitude was reduced after the middle of October. The abrupt change of current from southwest to northwest is related to the intrusion of Kuroshio. Examination of two CTD casts showed the salinity of the upper ocean to have increased after the directional shift in mid-October, further indicating the Kuroshio intrusion. The sea level data at Keelung provided other evidence for the intrusion of Kuroshio. The sea level descended as the intrusion occurred and kept the low value until the end of the record. The northwest flow, which carried the water away from the northern coast of Taiwan, is responsible for this descent. Although the intrusion of Kuroshio was mainly confined to the upper ocean, it did have influence on the whole water column. Examination of the wind record at Pengchiayu showed that the time of Kuroshio intrusion was not coincident with the intensification of the northeasterly monsoon. The local wind and the current at 20 m were incoherent. Both the variation of Kuroshio current and the fluctuation of Kuroshio path may be responsible for the variation of the local current. Since the intrusion of Kuroshio has a weak relationship with local wind variation, it appears to be induced by non-local factors.


Water Column Abrupt Change Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Local Wind Northern Coast 
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Copyright information

© Journal of the Oceanographic Society of Japan 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Y. Tang
    • 1
  • Y. J. Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of OceanographyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC

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