Deep Flow Transport Through the Ulleung Interplain Gap in the Southwestern East/Japan Sea
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS OCEANOGRAPHY DIV
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Deep circulation in the southwestern EastJapan Sea through the Ulleung Interplain Gap UIG, a possible pathway for deep-water exchange, was directly measured for the first time. Five concurrent current meter moorings were positioned to effectively span the UIG between the islands of Ulleungdo to the west and Dokdo to the east. They provided a 495-day time series of deep currents below 1800 m depth spanning the full breadth of the East Sea Deep and Bottom Water flowing from the Japan Basin into the Ulleung Basin. The UIG circulation is found to be mainly a two-way flow with relatively weak southward flows directed into the Ulleung Basin over about two-thirds of the western UIG. A strong, persistent, and narrow compensating northward outflow occurs in the eastern UIG near Dokdo and is first referred to here as the Dokdo Abyssal Current. The width of the abyssal current is about 20 km below 1800 m depth. The low-frequency variability of the transports is dominated by fluctuations with a period of about 40 days for inflow and outflow transports. The 40-day fluctuations of both transports are statistically coherent, and occur almost concurrently. The overall mean transport of the deep water below 1800 m into the Ulleung Basin over the 16.5 months is about 0.005 Sv 1 Sv 106 m3 s-1, with an uncertainty of 0.025 Sv indicating net transport is negligible below 1800 m through the UIG.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography