The influence of the bottom cold water on the seasonal variability of the Tsushima warm current

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Previous studies have concluded that the volume transport and surface current velocity of the Tsushima Warm Current are at a maximum between summer and autumn and at a minimum between winter and spring. Each study has obtained these results indirectly, using the sea level difference across the Tsushima-Korea Strait or dynamic calculation. Numerical experiments are performed to estimate the seasonal variability in the sea level difference caused by the Bottom Cold Water (BCW), which intrudes from the Sea of Japan along the Korean coast in the bottom layer. These experiments basically treat the baroclinic adjustment problem of the BCW in a rectangular cross section perpendicular to the axis (northeast-southwest direction) of the Tsushima-Korea Strait. It is a five-layer model for summer and a two-layer model for winter. The initial conditions and parameters in models are chosen so as to match the calculated velocity-density fields with the observed velocity-density fields [Isobe A., S. Tawara, A. Kaneko and M. Kawano (1994) Continental Shelf Research, 14, 23-35.]. Consequently, the experiments prove that the observed seasonal variability in the sea level difference across the Tsushima-Korea Strait largely contains the baroclinic motion caused by the BCW. It should be noted that the position of the BCW also plays an important role in producing a considerable seasonal variation of the sea level difference. It is critical to remove the baroclinic contribution from the observed sea level differences across the Tsushima-Korea Strait in order to estimate the seasonal variation in the volume transport of the Tsushima Warm Current.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-777
Number of pages15
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Geology

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