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Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 60, Issue 5, pp 879–892 | Cite as

Monitoring of generation and propagation of the Kuroshio small meander using sea level data along the southern coast of Japan

  • Akira Nagano
  • Masaki Kawabe
Article

Abstract

The occurrence of the small meander of the Kuroshio, generated south of Kyushu and propagating eastward, was examined using sea level data collected during 1961–1995 along the south coast of Japan. Intra-annual variation of the sea level was expanded by the frequency domain empirical orthogonal function (FDEOF) modes, and it was found that the second and third modes are useful for monitoring the generation and propagation of the small meander. The third FDEOF for periods of 10–100 days has a phase reversal between Hosojima and Tosa-shimizu with significant amplitude west of Kushimoto, and the amplitude of its time coefficient is large during the non-large-meander (NLM) period and has a significant peak when the small meander exists southeast of Kyushu. The second FDEOF for periods of 20–80 days has a phase reversal between Kushimoto and Uragami, and the amplitude of its time coefficient is large when the small meander propagates to the south of Shikoku. The third FDEOF mode allowed us to conclude that the small meander occurred 42 times from July 1961 to May 1995, most of them (38) occurring during the NLM periods. The second FDEOF mode permits the conclusion that half of the 38 small meanders reached south of Shikoku. Of these, five small meanders influenced transitions of the Kuroshio path from the nearshore NLM path; one caused the offshore NLM path and four brought about the large meander. About one-tenth of the total number of small meanders are related to the formation of the large meander.

Keywords

Kuroshio south of Japan small meander large meander tide gauge data 

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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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