Hydrographic Structure and Transport of Intermediate Water in the Kuroshio Region off the Boso Peninsula, Japan
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Hydrographic structure and transport of intermediate water were observed in the Kuroshio region south of Japan, focusing on the 26.6-27.5sigma(theta) density in six cruises from May 1998 through September 2001. In the section off the Boso Peninsula where the Kuroshio exfoliates eastward, the intermediate water was clearly clustered into three groups meridionally composed of the coastal water, the Kuroshio water and the offshore water. Compared with the Kuroshio water characterized by warm, salty water transported by the Kuroshio, the coastal and offshore waters significantly degenerated due to mixing with cold, fresh waters originated from the subarctic region: the former was affected by alongshore spread of the coastal Oyashio and the latter by direct intrusion of the new North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) into the southern side of the Kuroshio current axis. Particularly the offshore water showed higher apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) in layers deeper than 26.9sigma(theta) while it showed lower AOU in layers shallower than 26.9sigma(theta), which indicated that colder, fresher and higher AOU water was distributed on the southeastern side of the Kuroshio in deeper layers. In May 1998, the Oyashio-Kuroshio mixing ratio was estimated to be typically 2:8 for the offshore water on the assumption of isopycnal mixing. Moreover, northeastward volume transport of the Kuroshio water was obtained from geostrophic velocity fields adjusted to lowered acoustic Doppler current profiler (LADCP) data to yield 6.1 Sv at 26.6-26.9sigma(theta) and 11.8 Sv at 26.9-27.5sigma(theta).