Heat balance of the upper 200 m of the sea south of Japan is studied, by the use of marine meteorological and oceanographic data at Ocean Weather Station T (29°N, 135°E), intensively obtained from June 1950 to November 1953. Local time change of the heat content in the surface layer and the net heat flux through the air-sea interface are calculated directly from these data, and the heat convergence in the sea is estimated from their residuals. Regarding the relative importance of one- and three-dimensional processes, it is found that, on a time scale of a few days to one month, the variation of heat content depends on heat convergence in the sea, while on a seasonal time scale, the heat content is determined primarily by the heat flux through the sea surface in December through February, by heat convergence within the sea from March to May, and by both processes from June to November. It is inferred that the heat convergence in the sea is caused by advection of water masses which are bounded by sharp fronts. Spectral analysis of sea surface temperature indicates that they typically take 2 to 3 days to pass the station, and their typical size is estimated as around 20 km by assuming the typical advection velocity of water masses to be 10 cm s-1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Soil Science
- Earth-Surface Processes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)