Large variability of the Kuroshio at 23.75°N east of Taiwan

Sen Jan, Yiing Jang Yang, Joe Wang, Vigan Mensah, Tien Hsia Kuo, Ming Da Chiou, Ching Sheng Chern, Ming Huei Chang, Hwa Chien

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Synoptic features of the Kuroshio at 23.75°N were quantified using nine ship-based surveys between September 2012 and September 2014. The new ship-based data set provides an unprecedented view of the Kuroshio east of Taiwan and suggest tremendous variability in its velocity, hydrography, volume, heat, and salt transports, and water masses. The Kuroshio maximum velocity varied in 0.7-1.4 m s-1; the core current width, delineated with the limit v ≥ 0.2 m s-1, ranged from 85 to 135 km, and the thickness varied from 400 to 600 m. A dual velocity maximum in the Kuroshio core current, though unexpected, was observed in three of nine cruises. The Kuroshio core transport, integrated from the directly measured velocity, varied between 10.46 and 22.92 Sv (1 Sv=106 m3 s-1). The corresponding heat transport referenced to 0°C was 0.838-1.793 × 1015 W, and the salt transport was 345.0-775.9 × 106 kg s-1. The geostrophic transport estimated using the thermal wind relation with the observed hydrographic data and reference velocity at 900 m is comparable to the directly measured Kuroshio transport during most of the surveys, suggesting the directly measured velocity is mostly in geostrophic balance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1825-1840
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Kuroshio
  • hydrography
  • ship survey
  • velocity profile
  • volume transport


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