Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 525–539 | Cite as

Isotopic tracers for water masses in the coastal region of eastern Hokkaido

  • Sachiko OgumaEmail author
  • Tsuneo Ono
  • Akira Kusaka
  • Hiromi Kasai
  • Yasuhiro Kawasaki
  • Tomonori Azumaya
Original Articles


In this study we used two stable isotopes, δ13C and δ18O, for water mass classification in the coastal region off eastern Hokkaido. δ13C* values, which were corrected for the biological effect, and δ18O values up to 300 m depth suggested that the isotopic character of the onshore and offshore water in the southern Okhotsk Sea, the Nemuro Strait and the western North Pacific could be explained by the mixing of three source waters: the Oyashio water (OYW), Soya Warm Current water (SWCW) and East Sakhalin Current water (ESCW). In summer, δ13C*-δ18O plots indicated mixing between SWCW from the southern Okhotsk Sea and OYW in the Pacific coast of southeastern Hokkaido, while temperature-salinity plots of the onshore water showed minimal difference from the offshore OYW. In winter, on the other hand, the mixed water of ESCW and OYW (or SWCW) appeared in the Pacific coastal region, distributed as cold, low salinity onshore water. Finally, we estimated mixing ratios of OYW, SWCW and ESCW in the coastal region of western North Pacific using their mean values of δ13C* and δ18O as endmembers. These results suggest seasonal and yearly changes of water mass combination en route from the southern Okhotsk Sea to the western North Pacific.


Stable isotopes Soya Warm Current water East Sakhalin Current water Oyashio water southern Okhotsk Sea western North Pacific eastern Hokkaido 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sachiko Oguma
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tsuneo Ono
    • 2
  • Akira Kusaka
    • 2
  • Hiromi Kasai
    • 2
  • Yasuhiro Kawasaki
    • 2
  • Tomonori Azumaya
    • 2
  1. 1.Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Hokkaido National Fisheries Research InstituteFisheries Research AgencyKatsurakoi, KushiroJapan

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