Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 691–706 | Cite as

Calculation of Interannual Variations of Sea Level in the Subtropical North Pacific

  • Masaki Kawabe


The interannual variations of sea level at Chichi-jima and five other islands in the subtropical North Pacific are calculated for 1961–95 with a model of Rossby waves excited by wind. The Rossby-wave forcing is significant east of 140°E. Strong forcing of upwelling (downwelling) Rossby wave occurs during El Niño (La Niña) and warm (cold) water anomaly in the eastern equatorial Pacific. The first and second baroclinic modes of Rossby wave are more strongly generated than the barotropic mode in the study area. A higher vertical mode of Rossby wave propagates more slowly and is more decayed by eddy dissipation. The best coefficient of vertical eddy dissipation is determined by comparing the calculated sea level with observation. The variation in sea level at Chichi-jima is successfully calculated, in particular for the long-term change of the mean level between before and after 1986 with a rise in 1986 as well as the variations with periods of two to four years after 1980. It is concluded that variations of sea level at Chichi-jima are produced by wind-forced Rossby waves, the first baroclinic wave primarily and the barotropic wave secondly. The calculation for other islands is less successful. Degree of the success in calculation almost corresponds to a spatial difference in quantity of wind data, and seems to be determined by quality of wind data.

Sea level interannual variations Chichi-jima subtropical North Pacific Rossby waves wind forcing 


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaki Kawabe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical Oceanography, Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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