Vertical structure and surface patterns of Green Island wakes induced by the Kuroshio

Po Chun Hsu, Kai Ho Cheng, Sen Jan, Hung Jen Lee, Chung Ru Ho

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When the Kuroshio passes Green Island off Taiwan, well-organized wakes are formed by the interaction between the Kuroshio and the island. The vertical mixing in the wake produces cold water, which entrains from the mixed layer below the surface and results in relatively colder and saltier waters with a higher chlorophyll-a concentration on the sea surface to the lee of the island. The meander of the Kuroshio maximum velocity axis has a major influence on the island wake. The shift of the Kuroshio in front of Green Island not only weakens the flow velocity but also affects the development of the wake. In the Green Island wake, the density overturns with a Thorpe scale between 2.9 m and 20.5 m and the turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate is 0.2 × 10 −6 –8.5 × 10 −5 W kg −1 , which corresponds to an eddy diffusivity in the range of 0.01–0.23 m 2 s −1 . The spatial distribution patterns of the sea surface temperature (SST) in the island wake are classified into four distinct types, as obtained from moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) SST images. The most frequently occurring type is of the wake alone, which accounts for 86.7% of the island wake patterns. The other three types are a wake with a tail stretching downstream (4.0%), a wake with a small cyclonic cold core but no tail stretching downstream (6.8%) and an S-shaped meandering wake (2.5%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Island wake
  • Kuroshio
  • Subsurface layer
  • Vertical mixing


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