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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 24, 89-99, 2017
http://www.nonlin-processes-geophys.net/24/89/2017/
doi:10.5194/npg-24-89-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
16 Feb 2017
Statistical analysis of Lagrangian transport of subtropical waters in the Japan Sea based on AVISO altimetry data
Sergey V. Prants, Maxim V. Budyansky, and Michael Yu. Uleysky Laboratory of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems, Pacific Oceanological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 43 Baltiyskaya st., 690041 Vladivostok, Russia
Abstract. Northward near-surface Lagrangian transport of subtropical waters in the Japan Sea frontal zone is simulated and analysed based on altimeter data for the period from 2 January 1993 to 15 June 2015. Computing different Lagrangian indicators for a large number of synthetic tracers launched weekly for 21 years in the southern part of the Sea, we find preferred transport pathways across the Subpolar Front. This cross-frontal transport is statistically shown to be meridionally inhomogeneous with gates and barriers whose locations are determined by the local advection velocity field. The gates open due to suitable dispositions of mesoscale eddies facilitating propagation of subtropical waters to the north. It is documented for the western, central and eastern gates with the help of different kinds of Lagrangian maps and verified by some tracks of available drifters. The transport through the gates occurs by a portion-like manner, i.e. subtropical tracers pass the gates in specific places and during specific time intervals. There are some forbidden zones in the frontal area where the northward transport has not been observed during all the observation period. They exist due to long-term peculiarities of the advection velocity field.

Citation: Prants, S. V., Budyansky, M. V., and Uleysky, M. Yu.: Statistical analysis of Lagrangian transport of subtropical waters in the Japan Sea based on AVISO altimetry data, Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 24, 89-99, doi:10.5194/npg-24-89-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
Transport of subtropical waters in the Japan Sea is simulated based on altimeter data. Preferred transport pathways across the Subpolar Front are found. The cross-frontal transport is shown to be inhomogeneous with gates and barriers whose locations are determined by a local velocity field. The gates open due to suitable dispositions of mesoscale eddies facilitating propagation of subtropical waters to the north. There are forbidden zones where the northward transport has not been observed.
Transport of subtropical waters in the Japan Sea is simulated based on altimeter data. Preferred...
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