Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 159–174 | Cite as

Pathway and variability of deep circulation around 40°N in the northwest Pacific Ocean

  • Kojiro Ando
  • Masaki Kawabe
  • Daigo Yanagimoto
  • Shinzou Fujio
Original Article


To clarify the global deep-water circulation in the northwest Pacific, we conducted current observations with seven moorings at 40°N east of Japan from May 2007 to October 2008, together with hydrographic observations. By analyzing the data, while taking into consideration that the deep circulation has a northward component in this region and carries low-silica, high-dissolved-oxygen water, we clarified that the deep circulation flows within the region between 144°30′ and 146°10′E at 40°N on and east of the eastern slope of the Japan Trench with marked variability; the deep circulation flows partly on the eastern slope of the trench and mainly to the east during P1 (10 May–24 November 2007), is confined to the eastern slope of the trench during P2 (25 November 2007–20 May 2008), and flows on and to the immediate east of the eastern slope of the trench during P3 (21 May–15 October 2008). Previous studies have identified two branches of the deep circulation at lower latitudes in the western North Pacific; one flows off the western trenches and the other detours near the Shatsky Rise. It was thus concluded that the eastern branch flows westward at 38°N and then northward to the east of the trench, finally joining the western branch around 40°N during P1 and P3, whereas the eastern branch passes westward south of 38°N, joins the western branch around 38°N, and flows northward on the eastern slope of the trench during P2.


Deep-water circulation Moored current meters Lower circumpolar deep water Silica Dissolved oxygen Japan Trench Northwest Pacific Basin 



The authors are grateful to Captain S. Suzuki, the crew of the R/V “Hakuho Maru”, and scientists and technical staff who participated in cruises KH-07-1 leg 2 and KH-08-3 leg 2 for their great work and cooperation in the observations. They also thank Ms. Eriko Fukumura for drawing the figures. Comments from two anonymous reviewers were fruitful. This work was supported by KAKENHI (18340136, 23244094) and the Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant from The Japan Science Society.


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kojiro Ando
    • 1
  • Masaki Kawabe
    • 1
  • Daigo Yanagimoto
    • 1
  • Shinzou Fujio
    • 1
  1. 1.Atmosphere and Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoKashiwaJapan

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