The Oceanography of the Japan/East Sea,
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE SCHOOL OF OCEANOGRAPHY
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The Japan Sea, known as the East Sea in Korea, covers an area of 106 km2, has a maximum depth in excess of 3700 m, and is one of the four marginal seas of the North Pacific Ocean. The circulation of the JapanEast Sea hereafter JES has been studied for nearly a century by scientists from Japan, Korea, and Russia. While this legacy of exploration has left us with some zeroth order notions about the properties of the general circulation of the JES, the most basic questions concerning the JES circulation remain largely unanswered. In recent years, a new climate of scientific cooperation among the nations bordering the JES has resulted in significant advances in our knowledge of the circulation of the JES. It is clear, moreover, that the JES harbors a rich variety of physical phenomena, including wind- and buoyancy-driven effects, sea ice processes, western boundary currents, fronts, mesoscale eddies, topographic effects, flow through narrow straits, deep convection, and many others. Thus, it is conjectured that, beyond the obvious economic and environmental importance of the JES to the countries bordering the Sea, the JES might potentially serve as an important laboratory for examining many physical processes that are ubiquitous in other marginal seas and the global ocean.
- Information Science
- Biological Oceanography