The nascent Kuroshio of Lamon Bay

TitleThe nascent Kuroshio of Lamon Bay
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGordon A.L, Flament P., Villanoy C., Centurioni L
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Oceans
Volume119
Pagination4251-4263
Date Published2014/07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-9275
Accession NumberWOS:000340415500013
KeywordsLuzon Strait; mindanao current; north equatorial current; ocean; Pacific decadal oscillation; philippine sea; south china sea; variability; water; western boundary
Abstract

A northward flowing current, emanating from the North Equatorial Current (NEC) bifurcation at the Philippine margin, enters Lamon Bay along Luzon's eastern coast. There the NEC tropical water masses merge with subtropical water of the western North Pacific to form the Kuroshio. A northward flowing western boundary current is first observed near 16.5 degrees N, marking the initiation of the Kuroshio. The current feeding into the nascent Kuroshio of Lamon Bay is bracketed by an anticyclonic dipole to its northeast and a cyclonic dipole to its southwest. Ship-based observational programs in the spring seasons of 2011 and 2012 detect a shift of the Lamon Bay thermohaline stratification with marked enrichment of NEC tropical thermocline water in 2012 relative to a dominant western North Pacific subtropical stratification of 2011. Temperature-salinity time series from moorings spanning the two ship-based observations identify the timing of the transition as December 2011. The NEC bifurcation was further south in May 2012 than in May 2011. We suggest that the more southern bifurcation in May 2012 induced increased NEC thermocline water injection into Lamon Bay and nascent Kuroshio, increasing the linkage of the western North Pacific subtropical and tropical thermoclines. This connection was reduced in May 2011 as the NEC bifurcation shifted into a more northerly position and western North Pacific subtropical thermocline dominated Lamon Bay stratification.

DOI10.1002/2014jc009882
Short TitleJ Geophys Res-Oceans
Integrated Research Themes: 
Student Publication: 
No