Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 77–91 | Cite as

Spatiotemporal variations of the surface Kuroshio east of Taiwan Island derived from satellite altimetry data

  • Jifeng Qi (齐继峰)
  • Baoshu Yin (尹宝树)
  • Zhenhua Xu (徐振华)
  • Delei Li (李德磊)


Spatiotemporal variation of the surface Kuroshio east of Taiwan Island is investigated by quantitatively analyzing 23-year (1993–2015) sea surface Absolute Dynamic Topography data. The annual mean state of the Kuroshio is shown, with a flow width ~136 km and surface transport ~7.75×104m2/s. The corresponding standard deviations of these are 28 km and 2.14×104m2/s. Results of power spectrum analysis indicate that the primary periods of Kuroshio surface transport east of Taiwan Island are 1 and 2.8 years, respectively. Spatially, the Kuroshio surface transport southeast of Taiwan Island has greater variability than that to its northeast. That transport showed strong seasonality, with a maximum 8.8×104m2/s in summer and minimum 7.5×10 4 m 2 /s in winter, which was mainly caused by local monsoon winds. A linear long-term upward trend of Kuroshio surface transport during 1993–2015 was found, during which the mean, southeast, and northeast of the Kuroshio east of Taiwan Island increased by 0.30×10 4, 0.22×10 4 and 0.36×10 4 m 2 /s, respectively. Correlation and composite analysis show that the Philippines-Taiwan Oscillation (PTO) is important in the interannual variability of the Kuroshio. PTO-induced relative intensity of anticyclonic and cyclonic eddies is the dominant influence on the interannual variability of the Kuroshio east of Taiwan Island.


Kuroshio east of Taiwan Island seasonal and interannual variation Philippines-Taiwan Oscillation (PTO) mesoscale eddy 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andres M, Park J H, Wimbush M et al. 2009. Manifestation of the Pacific decadal oscillation in the Kuroshio. Geophysical Research Letters, 36 (16), https://doi. org/10.1029/2009GL039216.Google Scholar
  2. Ashok K, Behera S K, Rao S A et al. 2007. El Niño Modoki and its possible teleconnection. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112 (C11), Scholar
  3. Chang Y L, Oey L Y. 2011. Interannual and seasonal variations of Kuroshio transport east of Taiwan inferred from 29 years of tide-gauge data. Geophysical Research Letters, 38 (8): L08603, Scholar
  4. Chang Y L, Oey L Y. 2012. The Philippines-Taiwan oscillation: monsoonlike interannual oscillation of the subtropicaltropical western North Pacific wind system and its impact on the ocean. Journal of Climate, 25 (5): 1597–1618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen C T A. 1996. The Kuroshio intermediate water is the major source of nutrients on the East China Sea continental shelf. Oceanologica Acta, 19 (5): 523–527.Google Scholar
  6. Chu T Y. 1974. The fluctuations of the Kuroshio current in the eastern sea area of Taiwan. Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica, 4: 1–12.Google Scholar
  7. Chuang W S, Liang W D. 1994. Seasonal variability of intrusion of the Kuroshio water across the continental shelf northeast of Taiwan. Journal of Oceanography, 50 (5): 531–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gilson J, Roemmich D. 2002. Mean and temporal variability in Kuroshio geostrophic transport south of Taiwan (1993-2001). Journal of Oceanography, 58 (1): 183–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Guo X Y, Miyazawa Y, Yamagata T. 2006. The Kuroshio onshore intrusion along the shelf break of the East China Sea: the origin of the Tsushima Warm Current. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 36 (12): 2205–2231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hsin Y C, Qiu B, Chiang T L et al. 2013. Seasonal to interannual variations in the intensity and central position of the surface Kuroshio east of Taiwan. Journal of Geophysical Research, 118 (9): 4305–4316.Google Scholar
  11. Hsin Y C, Wu C R, Shaw P T. 2008. Spatial and temporal variations of the Kuroshio east of Taiwan, 1982-2005: a numerical study. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113 (C4), Scholar
  12. Hwang C, Kao R. 2002. TOPEX/POSEIDON-derived spacetime variations of the Kuroshio Current: applications of a gravimetric geoid and wavelet analysis. Geophysical Journal International, 151 (3): 835–847.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jan S, Yang Y J, Wang J et al. 2015. Large variability of the Kuroshio at 23.75°N east of Taiwan. Journal of Geophysical Research, 120 (3): 1825–1840.Google Scholar
  14. Jia Y L, Liu Q Y, Liu W et al. 2004. The interannual variation of the Kuroshio transport east of Taiwan. Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica, 35 (6): 507–512. (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  15. Johns W E, Lee T N, Zhang D X, Zantopp R, Liu C T, Yang Y. 2001. The Kuroshio east of Taiwan: moored transport observations from the WOCE PCM-1 array. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 31 (4): 1031–1053.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kashino Y, España N, Syamsudin F et al. 2009. Observations of the North Equatorial current, Mindanao current, and Kuroshio current system during the 2006/07 El Niño and 2007/08 La Niña. Journal of Oceanography, 65 (3): 325–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kwon Y O, Alexander M A, Bond N A et al. 2010. Role of the Gulf Stream and Kuroshio-Oyashio systems in large-scale atmosphere-ocean interaction: a review. Journal of Climate, 23 (12): 3249–3281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liang W D, Tang T Y, Yang Y J, Ko M T, Chuang W S. 2003. Upper-ocean currents around Taiwan. Deep Sea Research Part II, 50 (6-7): 1085–1105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Liu Z Q, Gan J P. 2012. Variability of the Kuroshio in the East China Sea derived from satellite altimetry data. Deep Sea Research Part I, 59: 25–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nitani H. 1972. Beginning of the Kuroshio. In: Stommel H, Yoshida K eds. Kuroshio: Its Physical Aspects. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, Japan. p.129–163.Google Scholar
  21. Oey L Y, Chang M C, Chang Y L et al. 2013. Decadal warming of coastal China Seas and coupling with winter monsoon and currents. Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (23): 6288–6292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Oey L Y, Chang Y L, Lin Y C et al. 2014. Cross flows in the Taiwan Strait in winter. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 44 (3): 801–817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Oey L Y, Hsin Y C, Wu C R. 2010. Why does the Kuroshio northeast of Taiwan shift shelfward in winter? Ocean Dynamics, 60 (2): 413–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Qi J F, Yin B S, Yang D Z et al. 2014. The inter-annual and inter-decadal variability of the Kuroshio volume transport in the East China Sea. Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica, 45 (6): 1141–1147. (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  25. Qu T D, Lukas R. 2003. The bifurcation of the north equatorial current in the Pacific. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 33 (1): 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shen M L, Tseng Y H, Jan S et al. 2014. Long-term variability of the Kuroshio transport east of Taiwan and the climate it conveys. Progress in Oceanography, 121: 60–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Soeyanto E, Guo X Y, Ono J et al. 2014. Interannual variations of Kuroshio transport in the East China Sea and its relation to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and mesoscale eddies. Journal of Geophysical Research, 119 (6): 3595–3616.Google Scholar
  28. Tang T Y, Yang Y J. 1993. Low frequency current variability on the shelf break northeast of Taiwan. Journal of Oceanography, 49 (2): 193–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tozuka T, Yamagata T. 2003. Annual ENSO. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 33 (8): 1564–1578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tsui I F, Wu C R. 2012. Variability analysis of Kuroshio intrusion through Luzon Strait using growing hierarchical self-organizing map. Ocean Dynamics, 62 (8): 1187–1194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wang J, Ikeda M. 1997. Diagnosing ocean unstable baroclinic waves and meanders using the quasigeostrophic equations and Q-vector method. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 27 (6): 1158–1172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wu C R. 2013. Interannual modulation of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on the low-latitude western North Pacific. Progress in Oceanography, 110: 49–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wu L X, Cai W J, Zhang L P et al. 2012. Enhanced warming over the global subtropical western boundary currents. Nature Climate Change, 2 (3): 161–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yan X M, Zhu X H, Pang C G et al. 2016. Effects of mesoscale eddies on the volume transport and branch pattern of the Kuroshio east of Taiwan. Journal of Geophysical Research, 121 (10): 7683–7700.Google Scholar
  35. Yu J Y, Kim S T. 2013. Identifying the types of major El Niño events since 1870. International Journal of Climatology, 33 (8): 2105–2112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhang Q L, Hou Y J, Yan T Z. 2012. Inter-annual and interdecadal variability of Kuroshio heat transport in the East China Sea. International Journal of Climatology, 32 (4): 481–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhu X M, Liu G M, Wang J et al. 2015. A numerical study on the relationships of the variations of volume transport around the China Seas. Journal of Marine Systems, 145: 15–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jifeng Qi (齐继峰)
    • 1
  • Baoshu Yin (尹宝树)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhenhua Xu (徐振华)
    • 1
  • Delei Li (李德磊)
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of Sciences and Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations