TERRAPUB Journal of Oceanography

Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 61 (No. 5), pp. 953-971, 2005

Numerical Study of a Kyucho and a Bottom Intrusion in the Bungo Channel, Japan: Disturbances Generated by the Kuroshio Small Meanders

Masazumi Arai*

Graduate School of Engineering, Hiroshima University, Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8527, Japan

(Received 4 November 2004; in revised form 24 March 2005; accepted 24 March 2005)

Abstract: The generation and propagation mechanisms of a Kyucho and a bottom intrusion in the Bungo Channel, Japan, have been studied numerically using the hydrostatic primitive equations by assuming density stratification during summer. The experiments are designed to generate a Kuroshio small meander in Hyuga-Nada, which acts as a trigger for these disturbances. After the current speed of the Kuroshio is changed, a small meander is generated. At the head of the small meander, warm Kuroshio water is engulfed, and encounters the southwest coast of Shikoku. However, convergence of heat flux on the bump off Cape Ashizuri suppresses the generation of a warm disturbance, if the current speed is large. As the cold eddy associated with the small meander approaches Cape Ashizuri, the heat flux diverges on the bump. This heat source forces a warm disturbance, which intrudes along the east coast of the Bungo Channel as a baroclinic Kelvin wave (a Kyucho). After the cold eddy passes off Cape Ashizuri, the Kuroshio approaches the bump again. Strong convergence of heat flux then occurs on the bump, which forces a cold disturbance. This disturbance propagates as a topographic Rossby wave along the shelf break at the mouth of the channel. After the topographic wave reaches the west end of the shelf break, it intrudes along the bottom layer of the channel as a density current (a bottom intrusion). These results suggest that a Kyucho and a bottom intrusion are successive events associated with the propagation of the small meander.

*Corresponding author E-mail: arai@ocean.hiroshima-u.ac.jp

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