Physical Structure of Eddies in the Southwestern East Sea

동해남서해역 와류의 물리적구조

  • Published : 1995.06.01


Eddies and surface current field in the southwestern part of the East Sea were investigated using satellite-tracked drifters, CTD, and ADCP from November 1992 to September 1993. Trajectories of surface drifters provided information for the first time on the meandering motion of the East Korean Warm Current in the Ullung Basin (referred as UB) and clearly indicated the existence of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies of various scales. Anticyclonic eddies persisting for a relatively long period were observed in UB and the southwestern corner of the Northern (Japan) Basin (SNB), while a cyclonic eddy was found in the coastal area between Sokcho and Donghae during the summer. Analysis shows that the eddy in UB behaved as a stationary eddy at least during the observation period and the cyclonic eddy was closely related to the existence of a cold water mass. The anticyclonic eddy in SNB was larger than that in UB, but much elongated in shape. The eddy in UB is characteristic of major and minor axes of about 120 and 70 km, revolution period of 13.6 days, mean swirl velocity of about 24 cm/s, and mean eddy kinetic energy of 392 cm$\^$2//s$\^$2/. The eddy in SNB is described as follows; major and minor axes of 168 and 86 km, period of 14.9 days, mean swirl velocity of 29 cm/s and mean eddy kinetic energy of 629 cm$\^$2//s$\^$2/. The mean translational speed is about 3 cm/s for both eddies. The agreement of the surface current pattern in UB observed by ADCP with the geostrophic flow pattern may suggest that the eddy in UB was nearly in geostrophic balance. The eddy was found to be strongly bottom-controlled.