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Wind-induced Kuroshio intrusion into the South China Sea


The Kuroshio flows north along the east coasts of the Philippines and Taiwan. Between these two land masses lies the Luzon Strait which connects the Pacific Ocean to the South China Sea. The Kuroshio usually flows north past this strait, but at times part or all of it flows west through the strait into the South China Sea forming a loop current. It has been suggested that the loop current forms when the northeast monsoon deflects the Kuroshio through the Luzon Strait. In this study, satellite-derived sea-surface temperature images are used to observe the Kuroshio in the Luzon Strait region. Together with wind data from the region, these observations indicate a loop-current development process which is largely determined by an integrated supercritical wind stress parameter. The loop current grows when a four-day average of the local wind-stress component directed to the south exceeds 0.08 Nm−2. When this average wind-stress component drops below the critical value, the Kuroshio returns to its northward path.

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Farris, A., Wimbush, M. Wind-induced Kuroshio intrusion into the South China Sea. J Oceanogr 52, 771–784 (1996).

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  • Development Process
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Wind Stress
  • East Coast
  • Current Form