Salinity Variations of the Intermediate Oyashio Waters and Their Relation with the Lunar Nodal Cycle
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New oceanographic observations in the period 1990–2015 revealed significant salinity variations in the Oyashio Current. In the last 26 years, the salinity of the upper layer decreased by 0.2 PSU. The most rapid changes in salinity and temperature have been observed in the last five years. The time series of salinity measurements is characterized by the high-amplitude fluctuations synchronized with the lunar nodal cycle (18.6 years); i.e., high salinity is observed in the period of strong tidal currents. Modulation of diurnal tidal currents with the K1 and O1 periods in the lunar nodal cycle is significant [8, 9]. The amplitude was maximal in 1988 and 2006 and minimal in 1997 and 2015. The characteristics of tidal currents in the Oyashio Current and Sea of Okhotsk are considered based on available data of drifting buoys over the Kruzenshtern and Kashevarov banks. The amplitude of salinity variations synchronized with the lunar cycle is approximately 0.1 PSU; therefore, it has made a significant contribution to the salinity decrease in recent years.
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