Sea level variations along the south coast of Japan and the large meander in the Kuroshio
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Sea level variations from 1974 through 1976 at 9 stations on the south coast of Japan (from west to east, Aburatsu, Tosa-shimizu, Muroto-misaki, Kushimoto, Uragami, Owase, Toba, Maisaka and Omaezaki) were analysed in relation to the large meander in the Kuroshio.
From May to July in 1975, a small maximum in sea level variation was observed at every station west of Cape Shionomisaki from Aburatsu to Kushimoto. It propagated eastward along with the eastward propagation of a small meander in the Kuroshio until it reached Kushimoto, when the sea levels at Uragami and Owase started to rise sharply. This remarkable rise appeared at all stations in August when a large meander in the Kuroshio was established. The mean sea level at the stations east of Cape Shionomisaki from Uragami to Omaezaki rose by about 10 cm. The difference in sea level variations between the regions east and west of Cape Shionomisaki, which had been present before the rise, disappeared. A similar characteristic of sea level variation was also found in the generation stage of the large meander in 1959.
The sea level variations along the south coast of Japan indicate that, prior to the generation of the large meander, the small meander in the Kuroshio was generated southeast of Kyushu and propagated eastward and that, just when this meander reached off Cape Shionomisaki, a large scale oceanic event covering over the whole region of the south coast of Japan occurred. This large scale event seems to be one of the necessary conditions for the generation of the large meander in the Kuroshio off Enshû-nada.
KeywordsJapan Level Variation Scale Event South Coast Generation Stage
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