TERRAPUB Journal of Oceanography

Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 63 (No. 4), pp. 625-635, 2007

Further Evidence for Non-Reemergence of Winter SST Anomalies in the North Pacific Eastern Subtropical Mode Water Area

Shusaku Sugimoto* and Kimio Hanawa

Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Aramaki-aza-Aoba, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8578, Japan

(Received 15 February 2006; in revised form 27 January 2007; accepted 7 March 2007)

Abstract: Following our previous study (Sugimoto and Hanawa, 2005b), we further investigate the reason why reemergence of winter sea surface temperature anomalies does not occur in the North Pacific eastern subtropical mode water (NPESTMW) area, despite its occurrence in the North Pacific subtropical mode water and North Pacific central mode water areas. We use vertical temperature and salinity profiles of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment Hydrographic Program and Argo floats with high vertical and temporal resolution, together with heat flux data through the sea surface. We point out first that one of the causes for non-occurrence of reemergence is that the thickness of NPESTMW is very thin. In addition to this basic cause, two major reasons are found: a vigorous mixing in the lower portion of NPESTMW and less heat input from the atmosphere in the warming season. Since, in the lower portion of NPESTMW and deeper, the stratification is favorable for salt-finger type convection to occur compared with the other mode water areas, vigorous mixing takes place. This is confirmed by both a large Turner Angle there and the existence of staircase structures in vertical temperature and salinity profiles. From the viewpoint of heat input, the NPESTMW area gradually gains heat in the warming season compared with other mode water areas. As a result, NPESTMW cannot be capped so quickly by the shallow summer mixed layer, and water properties of NPESTMW are to be gradually modified, even in the upper portion.

*Corresponding author E-mail: sugi@pol.geophys.tohoku.ac.jp

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