Mesoscale-dependent near-inertial internal waves and microscale turbulence in the Tsushima Warm Current

Yusuke Kawaguchi, Taku Wagawa, Itsuka Yabe, Daiki Ito, Tomoharu Senjyu, Sachihiko Itoh, Yosuke Igeta

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined characteristics of near-inertial internal waves (NIWs) associated with the background mesoscale field near the Tsushima Warm Current. Observational stations off Sado Island were visited recurrently to assess spatiotemporal changes of fine-scale and microscale properties of seawater. Also, NIWs were inspected in terms of relative vorticity and total strain in surface geostrophic motion. During summer expeditions in 2019, current and hydrographic surveys at the rim of an anticyclonic eddy provided clear evidence of downward-travelling NIWs, which were most amplified near the depth of lower pycnocline. The amplification of NIW coincided with elevation in the dissipation rates of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and microscale variation of temperature. The fall 2019 expedition found details of wave and turbulence properties associated with the mesoscale structure of paired vortices, where a cyclone and anticyclone were, respectively, adjacent to the east and west. Amplified signals of NIW-related vertical shear and TKE dissipation were found at isopycnals between the dipole cores. From the theoretical perspective of internal wave, the baroclinic term attributable to vertical shear of geostrophic current was interpreted as inducing downward travel of NIW through the lower pycnoclines between the dipole cores. It is also noted that cyclones, passing through the central part of Sea of Japan, can deliver kinetic energy into 10-km scale internal waves as a consequence of interaction between easterly wind and mountainous topography in the Honshu Island.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-171
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Oceanography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography


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