Influence of mesoscale eddies on variations of the Kuroshio path south of Japan

Naoto Ebuchi, Kimio Hanawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


The influences of mesoscale eddies on variations of the Kuroshio path south of Japan have been investigated using time series of the Kuroshio axis location and altimeter- derived sea surface height maps for a period of seven years from 1993 to 1999, when the Kuroshio followed its non-large meander path. It was found that both the cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies may interact with the Kuroshio and trigger short-term meanders of the Kuroshio path, although not all eddies that approached or collided with the Kuroshio formed meanders. An anticyclonic eddy that revolves clockwise in a region south of Shikoku and Cape Shionomisaki with a period of about 5-6 months was found to propagate westward along about 30°N and collide with the Kuroshio in the east of Kyushu or south of Shikoku. This collision sometimes triggers meanders which propagate over the whole region south of Japan. The eddy was advected downstream, generating a meander on the downstream side to the east of Cape Shionomisaki. After the eddy passed Cape Shionomisaki, it detached from the Kuroshio and started to move westward again. Sometimes the eddy merges with other anticyclonic eddies traveling from the east. Coalescence of cyclonic eddies, which are also generated in the Kuroshio Extension region and propagate westward in the Kuroshio recirculation region south of Japan, into the Kuroshio in the east of Kyushu, also triggers meanders which mainly propagate only in a region west of Cape Shionomisaki.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Oceanography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Kuroshio
  • Mesoscale eddy
  • Remote sensing
  • Satellite altimetry
  • Short-term meander

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


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