Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 60 (No. 4), pp. 663-671, 2004
Kohtaro Hosoda1* and Kimio Hanawa2
1 Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies, Graduate School Science, Tohoku University, Aoba, Sendai 980-8578, Japan
2 Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Aoba, Sendai 980-8578, Japan
(Received 17 September 2002; in revised form 22 September 2003; accepted 1 October 2003)
Abstract: Various kinds of datasets, such as satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface height, surface velocity produced by combining surface drifter and satel-lite altimeter data, and hydrographic data, led to the discovery of an anticyclonic eddy with lower SST than those of surrounding waters in the Kuroshio recirculation region south of Shikoku, as if the eddy were cyclonic. This anticyclonic eddy was formed east of Kyushu in late August to early September 1999 from the merger of two anticyclonic eddies which had migrated in the recirculation region to the sea south of Japan from the east. After the merger, the anticyclonic eddy strengthened abruptly and began to exhibit the low SST. In October, this eddy coalesced with the Kuroshio and moved swiftly eastward, accompanied by an amplitude growth of the Kuroshio meander. In mid November, off the Kii Peninsula, the eddy detached from the mean-dering Kuroshio. It then moved southwestward and again slowly propagated west-ward along the 30°N line. During this period, at least from late October 1999 to Janu-ary 2000, SSTs over the anticyclonic eddy were found to be continuously lower than those of surrounding waters. This case tells us that we have to pay careful attention to the interpretation of mesoscale SST distributions.