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Keywords:

  • North Pacific;
  • atmospheric forcing;
  • barotropic ocean response;
  • topographic control

[1] In the Kuroshio Extension System Study (KESS) east of Japan, bottom pressure observations over the 2 year study period exhibit strong high-frequency variability near 13 days. The first cyclostationary empirical orthogonal function mode for the band-pass-filtered KESS bottom pressure explains about 57% of the near 13 day variance and exhibits almost in-phase variability in space with a hint of westward propagation. The 13 day variability is strong during the winter and is driven by the large-scale wind stress curl over a broad region of the North Pacific. Modeling results over the North Pacific closely follow the observations and indicate that topography confines the barotropic response to the west of Emperor Seamount Chain and slows the westward propagation of the near 13 day bottom pressure variability.