The Nascent Kuroshio of Lamon Bay

Gordon, Arnold L.; Flament, Pierre; Villanoy, Cesar; Centurioni, Luca

A northward flowing current, emanating from the North Equatorial Current (NEC) bifurcation at the Philippine margin, enters Lamon Bay along Luzon's eastern coast. There the NEC tropical water masses merge with subtropical water of the western North Pacific to form the Kuroshio. A northward flowing western boundary current is first observed near 16.5°N, marking the initiation of the Kuroshio. The current feeding into the nascent Kuroshio of Lamon Bay is bracketed by an anticyclonic dipole to its northeast and a cyclonic dipole to its southwest. Ship based observational programs in the spring seasons of 2011 and 2012, detect a shift of the Lamon Bay thermohaline stratification with marked enrichment of NEC tropical thermocline water in 2012 relative to a dominant western North Pacific subtropical stratification of 2011. Temperature - salinity time series from moorings spanning the two ship based observations, identify the timing of the transition as December 2011. The NEC bifurcation was further south in May 2012 than in May 2011. We suggest that the more southern bifurcation in May 2012 induced increased NEC thermocline water injection into Lamon Bay and nascent Kuroshio, increasing the linkage of the western North Pacific subtropical and tropical thermoclines. This connection was reduced in May 2011 as the NEC bifurcation shifted into a more northerly position and western North Pacific subtropical thermocline dominated Lamon Bay stratification.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for Gordon_Nascent_Kuroshio_JGR_2014.pdf Gordon_Nascent_Kuroshio_JGR_2014.pdf application/pdf 3.83 MB Download File

Also Published In

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
DOI 2014JC009882.

More About This Work

Academic Units
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
American Geophysical Union
Published Here
December 18, 2014