The characteristic surface structure at the northern front of the Kuroshio and the Kuroshio Extension is described with the use of thermal images from NOAA satellites, in one case combined with hydrographic observation. The description is based principally on a structure in which warm water of the Kuroshio or the Kuroshio Extension and cooler water to the north are arranged alternately, like teeth of a comb. Typical dimensions of such a tooth are 10 km wide, 100 km long with a thickness of 50 m. This phenomenon, which is considered to be important in the mixing process at the boundary of the Kuroshio, and the Kuroshio Extension, is similar to the structure independently observed by Lambert (1982) in the Gulf Stream. The characteristic gross structure of the Kuroshio near Japan, seen in the thermal images, is also mentioned.
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