Interannual and seasonal variations of Kuroshio transport east of Taiwan inferred from 29 years of tide-gauge data



[1] Twenty-nine years of tide-gauge data are analyzed in conjunction with wind and satellite-derived sea-surface height and ocean velocity data to study the interannual and seasonal variations of the Kuroshio transport off the northeastern coast of Taiwan. The data reveals an interannual variation of ±0.1 m (transport-variation of approximately ±3.5 Sv; 1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1), and a much weaker (5–10 times weaker) seasonal fluctuation that is minimum in May and maximum in November. The interannual fluctuations are not directly wind-driven by linear dynamics; rather, the Kuroshio strengthens in years of abundant eddies of the Subtropical Counter Current, which is related to the current's instability state driven by the slow fluctuations of the large-scale wind stress curl in the western Pacific. The seasonal transport fluctuation is also eddy-forced, but has weaker amplitude because the seasonal time scale is of the same order as the eddy-propagation time scale, and transport-producing eddy signals tend to overlap east of Taiwan.