Response of a summertime anticyclonic eddy to wind forcing in Funka Bay, Hokkaido, Japan

Daisuke Takahashi, Hideo Miyake, Takeyasu Nakayama, Naoto Kobayashi, Kazuo Kido, Yoshinori Nishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Flow flucwtuations inside an anticyclonic eddy in summertime Funka Bay were examined using three moorings and hydrographic data. The flow pattern above a sharp pycnocline with a concave isopycnal structure during the mooring period was characterized by high mean kinetic energy and relatively low eddy kinetic energy. The ratios of eddy to mean kinetic energy were equal to or less than one, and the mean flow field and isopycnal structure indicated the existence of a stable anticyclonic eddy above the sharp pycnocline under approximate geostrophic balance. Larger flow fluctuations with periods longer than 7 days were dominant inside the eddy. The low-frequency flow fluctuations are accompanied by north to northeastward movement of the eddy with deepening of the pycnocline and spin-up of the anticyclonic circulation. The wind field over Funka Bay is characterized by bay-scale wind fluctuations. The bay-scale winds are greatly influenced by the land topography around Funka Bay, resulting in non-uniform structure with significant wind stress curl. The bay-scale wind fluctuations are termed "locally modified wind" in the present study. The locally modified wind has a negative (positive) wind stress curl in the central-northeastern (southwestern) region of Funka Bay. The north to northeastward movement of the eddy is caused by horizontal non-uniform supply of vorticity from the locally modified wind forcing by the Ekman pumping process. Through this process, the anticyclonic circulation is enhanced (weakened) in the central-northeastern (southwestern) part of the eddy, resulting in the eddy moving north to northeastward with the pycnocline deepening and spin-up of the anticyclonic circulation. The locally modified wind forcing induces low-frequency flow fluctuations through the movement of the eddy in summertime Funka Bay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1435-1449
Number of pages15
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul


  • Anticyclonic eddy
  • Ekman pumping
  • Funka Bay
  • Low-frequency flow fluctuation
  • Wind stress curl

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Geology


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