Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Observed impact of mesoscale circulation on oceanic response to Typhoon Man-Yi (2007)

  • SungHyun Nam
  • Duk-jin Kim
  • Wooil M. Moon


The oceanic response to a typhoon, where mesoscale ocean circulations co-exist, was investigated by analyzing the independent observations of profiling floats data at three different locations, satellite altimetry data near the eye of Typhoon Man-Yi (2007) before and after its passage, and synthetic aperture radar data taken during the typhoon’s passage. In spite of the nearly symmetric wind pattern around the eye, the distribution of mesoscale eddies had a major impact on the surface currents and mixed layer (ML) depths. As a result, the entrainment of the water below the ML into the ML was affected by the mesoscale circulation and became asymmetric, which accounted for most of the changes observed in the temperature profiles. Changes in the isotherms were driven primarily by the westward propagation of the mesoscale pattern rather than by the typhoon-induced shoaling. The typhoon-induced shoaling could have played a significant role in the generation of high-frequency (e.g., near-inertial) oscillations and/or sub-mesoscale structures. Although a similar or even greater energy flux was observed at the surface, the entrainment within the anticyclonic circulation was weaker than that within the cyclonic circulation and at the edge of the anticyclonic circulation because of the thick pre-existing ML. A strong ocean response to Typhoon Man-Yi (2007) within a cyclonic circulation or at the edge of an anticyclonic circulation, rather than within an anticyclonic eddy, has implications for the role of mesoscale ocean circulations in better understanding and forecasting the typhoon intensity.


Typhoon/hurricane Entrainment Thermocline shoaling Mesoscale circulation SAR ARGO Satellite altimetry 



This work was supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant CATER 2009–3113. This research is also partially funded by NSERC Discovery Grant 7400 to WMM. The first author was supported by a JIMO postdoctoral fellowship at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). The RADARSAT-1 SAR data used in this study were provided by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) through the Announcement of Opportunity for RADARSAT Hurricane Applications Project (RHAP) agreement with WMM.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California at San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Research Institute of Oceanography (RIO), School of Earth and Environmental SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Geophysics, Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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