Direct Measurements of Deep Currents in the Northern Japan Sea
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Long-term current measurements by means of subsurface moorings were made for the first time at seven sites in the Japan Basin, the northern part of the Japan Sea. The objective was to directly explore the velocity field in the highly homogeneous deep water mass (the Japan Sea Proper Water) that occupies depths below 500 m. On each mooring three current meters were equipped at an approximately equal distance below about 1000 m depth. Duration of the measurements was 1 to 3 years depending on specific site. This paper describes the basic data set from the moored measurements. It is found that the deep water of the Japan Basin is very energetic with eddies and vertically coherent currents of the order of 0.1 m/s. Surprisingly, the currents and eddies exhibit strong seasonal dependence even in the deepest layers of the Basin. The observed new current features are discussed in comparison with conventional deep circulation pictures derived from hydrographic data.
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