Observational evidence for propagation of decadal spiciness anomalies in the North Pacific



[1] The propagation of density-compensated (warm/salty or cool/fresh) spiciness anomalies in the North Pacific thermocline is investigated using Argo profiles for the period 2001–2008. A cool/fresh spiciness anomaly on 25 < σθ < 25.5 kg m−3 isopycnals appears in the eastern subtropical North Pacific at 120°W–150°W in 2003–2004 with a salinity anomaly of about −0.15 PSS-78. This spiciness anomaly migrates southwestward, and arrives in the western tropical North Pacific at 145°E–175°W in 2008 with the salinity anomaly decreasing to about −0.043 PSS-78. Two warm/salty anomalies are observed to propagate along the same path from 2003 to 2005, and after 2005. The propagation path and speed of the anomalies are in good agreement with advection by the mean geostrophic current. In the course of propagation, the anomalies are diffused and are subject to high frequency injection of spiciness anomalies, especially in the eastern subtropical North Pacific.