Origins of the Kuroshio and Mindanao Current
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego La Jolla United States
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The boundary currents off the east coasts of the Philippines and Taiwan are of critical importance to the general circulation of the Pacific Ocean. The westward flowing North Equatorial Current NEC flows into the Philippine coast and bifurcates into the northward Kuroshio Current KC and the southward Mindanao Current MC. Quantifying these flows and understanding their dynamics are essential to improving predictions of regional circulation, and to characterizing property transports that ultimately affect Pacific climate. Fluctuations in the KC and MC can significantly impact variability downstream. For example, the KC penetrates through Luzon Strait into the South China Sea and onto the East China Sea shelf. The Kuroshio front dramatically alters stratification and may impact internal wave propagation. OKMC incorporates observation, theory, and modeling to make fundamental advances in our knowledge of the origins of the Kuroshio and Mindanao Currents.