A sudden bottom-water formation during the severe winter 2000–2001: The case of the East/Japan Sea



[1] We observed a sudden initiation of bottom-water formation in the East/Japan Sea associated with a severely cold winter in 2000–2001. An increase in dissolved oxygen concentration as well as decreases in temperature and nutrient concentrations for the bottom waters provides unequivocal evidence that cold, oxygen-rich and nutrient-poor surface waters were injected directly to the bottom. Since the conveyor-belt in the East Sea has been undergoing dramatic change with a complete halt to bottom-water formation since the mid-1980s, this sudden episode of bottom-water formation could easily be detected. Though the amount of bottom water formed was rather small, being only about 0.03% of the volume in the past time, the observation clearly demonstrates that the conveyor-belt is directly connected to the weather system.