Three types of South Pacific subtropical mode waters: Their relation to the large-scale circulation of the South Pacific subtropical gyre and their temporal variability

Takamasa Tsubouchi, Toshio Suga, Kimio Hanawa

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14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A detailed spatial distribution of South Pacific Subtropical Mode Water (SPSTMW) and its temporal variation were investigated using the World Ocean Atlas (WOA) 2001 climatology and high-resolution expendable bathythermograph (HRX) line data. In the WOA 2001 climatology, SPSTMW can be classified into western and eastern parts. A detailed examination of spatial distributions using HRX-PX06 line data revealed that the eastern part can be further divided into two types by the Tasman Front (TF) extension. Consequently, SPSTMW can be classified into three types, referred to in the present study as the West, North, and South types. The West type, situated in the recirculation region of the East Australia Current (EAC), has a core layer temperature (CLT) of about 19.1°C; the North type, in the region north of the TF extension, has a CLT of about 17.6°C; and the South type, in the region south of the TF extension, has a CLT of about 16.0°C. The long-term (>6 yr) variations in the inventories of the three types were dissimilar to each other. The short-term (<6 yr) and long-term variations in the mean CLT of the North and South types were greater than that of the West type. Winter cooling in the previous year may have influenced the short-term variation in the South-type CLT. Moreover, the strength of the EAC may have influenced long-term variation in the West-type inventory and thickness and in the North-type thickness and CLT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2478-2490
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Volume37
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Oct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography

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