Song, Hajin, Zhu, Xiao-Hua, Zhu, Ze-Nan, Chae, Jeong-Yeob, Jeon, Chanhyung, Kim, Dong-Guk, Min, Hong-Sik, Lee, Jae-Hak, Park, Jae-Hun
Published in Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, June 2023
The deep western boundary current (DWBC) in the Philippine Sea has been expected to play a crucial role in transporting lower circumpolar deep water and to contribute to regional and global climate regulation. Two-year-long near-bottom current measurements reveal a southward-flowing DWBC with a mean velocity of 5 cm/s and seasonal variations—weaker in summer and stronger in winter. Seasonal variability in the DWBC is hypothesized to be induced by changes in the North Equatorial Current bifurcation latitude (NECBL) and upper pycnocline depth through potential vorticity conservation. Data-assimilated reanalysis model (GLORYS12V1) outputs, which reproduce the seasonal variability of DWBC similarly to the observation, are used for further analysis. During the seasonal period, the NECBL displays significant coherence (>0.9) with the first-mode empirical orthogonal function principal component of the simulated along-slope DWBC. The upper pycnocline depth, varying seasonally within a range of approximately 27 m, induces seasonal variability in a deep anticyclonic eddy trapped by topography. In summer, the intensified deep anticyclonic eddy obstructs the adjacent southward-flowing DWBC, weakening its strength, whereas in winter, the southward flow of the DWBC is enhanced due to the weakening of the deep anticyclonic eddy.
Fig. Schematic diagrams illustrating the physical processes responsible for inducing the seasonal variability of the deep western boundary current (DWBC) in (a) summer and (b) winter. The periods in brackets represent the phase difference from the seasonal variability of the North Equatorial Current bifurcation latitude (NECBL).
Song, H.; Zhu, X.-H.; Zhu, Z.-N.; Chae, J.-Y.; Jeon, C.; Kim, D.-G.; Min, H.-S.; Lee, J.-H.; Park, J.-H. Seasonal Variability of the Deep Western Boundary Current in the Philippine Sea. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11, 1290. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11071290