Recent changes of Mixed Layer Depth in the East/Japan Sea: 1994–2007
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Recent changes of Mixed Layer Depth (MLD) in the East/Japan Sea (EJS) is investigated by using ocean reanalysis data. There is a significant shoaling of MLD in the southern EJS for 1994-2007, showing the change rate of - 1.24 m yr−1. The present study demonstrates that the wind stress curl mostly attributes to the MLD changes. The long-term variation of wind stress curl with a positive trend in the southern EJS is generally well consistent with the MLD variation. In addition, upward displacement estimated from the wind stress curl reaches 14.6 m during 14 years, which is comparable to the shoaling of MLD (i.e., 17.4 m). Thus, the wind stress curl with positive trend would induce the increase of upward Ekman pumping which in turn lead to the shoaling of MLD. The change of temperature structure in the subsurface layer, that is shrinking and upward displacement of thermal layer from the reanalysis and observational data, also supports this conclusion.
Key wordsMixed layer the East/Japan Sea wind stress curl water temperature
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