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Free Content The mixed-layer climatology in the northwestern part of the North Pacific subtropical gyre and the formation area of Subtropical Mode Water

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Climatological character of the mixed layer in the northwestern part of the subtropical North Pacific and the formation area of Subtropical Mode Water (STMW) are investigated using all available hydrographic data compiled by the Japan Oceanographic Data Center. Various monthly mean properties of the mixed layer averaged over 2° × 5° (lat. × lon.) rectangles are presented. In the heating season, the mixed layer is less thick throughout the region, while in the cooling season, a prominent thick mixed layer whose properties correspond with those of STMW evolves just off the Kuroshio both south and east of Japan.

This probable formation area of STMW is further described by presenting scatter diagrams for the set of the individual mixed layers and constructing mean fields of the mixed layer near the Kuroshio, using the thermocline depth as an offshore coordinate. The relationship between properties of the STMW formation area and those of STMW observed in the 137E section (Suga et al., 1989) suggests a plausible Kuroshio recirculation system.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1990

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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