TERRAPUB Journal of Oceanography
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Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 60 (No. 2), pp. 375-382, 2004

Short Contribution

Estimating the Kuroshio Axis South of Japan Using Combination of Satellite Altimetry and Drifting Buoys

Daisuke Ambe1*, Shiro Imawaki2, Hiroshi Uchida3 and Kaoru Ichikawa2

1Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering Science, Kyushu University, Kasuga, Fukuoka 816-8150, Japan
2Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Kasuga, Fukuoka 816-8150, Japan
3Japan Marine Science and Technology Center, Natsushima, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan

(Received 5 November 2003; in revised form 25 December 2003; accepted 25 December 2003)

Abstract: By tracking the locally strongest part of the sea-surface velocity field, which was obtained by integrating data of satellite altimeters and surface drifting buoys, we extracted the Kuroshio axis south of Japan every 10 days from October 1992 to December 2000. The obtained axes clearly express the effect of the bottom topography; three modes were observed when the Kuroshio ran over the Izu Ridge. The axis was very stable to the south of 'Tosa-bae,' off the Kii Channel. Mean current speed at the Kuroshio axis gradually increased from 0.65 m/s south of Kyushu to 1.45 m/s off Enshu-nada.


*Corresponding author E-mail: ambe@riam.kyushu-u.ac.jp


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