The Taiwan-Tsushima Warm Current System: Its path and the transformation of the water mass in the East China Sea

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Abstract

Using a temperature data set from 1961 to 1990, we estimated the monthly distribution of the vertically integrated heat content in the East China Sea. We then drew the monthly map of the horizontal heat transport, which is obtained as the difference between the vertically integrated heat content and the surface heat flux. We anticipate that its distribution pattern is determined mainly due to the advection by the ocean current if it exists stably in the East China Sea. The monthly map of the horizontal heat transport showed the existence of the Taiwan-Tsushima Warm Current System (TTWCS) at least from April to August. The T-S (temperature-salinity) analysis along the path of TTWCS indicated that the TTWCS changes its T-S property as it flows in the East China Sea forming the Tsushima Warm Current water. The end members of the Tsushima Warm Current water detected in this study are water masses in the Taiwan Strait and the Kuroshio surface layer, the fresh water from the mainland of China, and the southern tip of the Yellow Sea Cold Water extending in the northern part of the East China Sea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Oceanography
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography

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