Kuroshio Current

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Kuroshio Current


(Japan Current), a warm current in the Pacific Ocean along the southern and eastern shores of Japan. Deriving its name from the dark blue color of its water (in Japanese kuroshio means “black stream”), the current forms as a result of variations in water level in the northern part of the East China Sea and the adjacent ocean. Some scientists regard it as a continuation of the Northern Trade Winds Current after it passes through the straits between Taiwan and the southern Ryukyu Islands into the East China Sea.

The main Kuroshio Current enters the ocean through the northern straits of the Ryukyu Islands and flows as far as 36° N lat. and 150° E long., where it becomes the North Pacific Current. Branches of the Kuroshio Current generally extend to 40° N lat.; those flowing further north meet the cold Kuril Current and form numerous circulations. South of Shiono Misaki Cape (the southern tip of Honshu) the Kuroshio Current is about 170 km wide and 700 m deep. The flow of water here is 37.9 × 106 cu m per sec or about 73 cu km per hr. At 35° N lat. the depth of the current decreases to 200 m. The water temperature in August varies from 28°C in the south to 25°C in the north and in February from 18°C in the south to 12°C in the north. In the south the current moves at about 6 km per hr, and in the north its velocity is 1–2 km per hr.

There are significant variations in the location of the current. The northern branches extend to the periphery of the circulations—north of 41° N lat. in the summer and to 38°-39° N lat. in the winter. A typical feature is the meandering of the stream, associated with the formation of eddies on its borders. The annual temperature variation at Cape Shiono Misaki of almost 9°C at the surface is caused by the cold northwest winds. Along the eastern coast of Japan, between the Kuroshio Current and the mainland, there is a wall of cold water flowing from the north, as in the Gulf Stream. Like the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, the Kuroshio Current forms a system of warm currents in the Pacific Ocean, which has a warming effect on the climate and hydrological conditions of the northern part of the ocean.

References in periodicals archive ?
The current velocity in hydrothermal plume water columns in the southern Okinawa Trough is significantly more variable, and of higher magnitude (0.016 to 0.963 m [s.sup.-1]), than that in the middle Okinawa Trough (Table 1; Figure 2(a)); this trend is consistent with Kuroshio current velocity patterns (e.g., [58]).
We will make an attempt to use this explicit shallow-water numerical model to simulate the Kuroshio current and its extension system in further studies.
He explained how the Kuroshio Current, which normally gifts the island with tropical waters year-round, had been pushed away by a low-pressure system leaving behind unusually chilly waters.
Therefore, the model distorts both the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic and the Kuroshio current near Japan in the North Pacific.
Using a computer program called Ocean Surface Current Simulations (OSCURS), Ebbesmeyer predicts the Kuroshio current, a major Pacific Ocean current, will carry the toys and balloons due east toward North America.
This year, researchers will try to paddle a dugout canoe across the Kuroshio Current from Wushihbi in Taitung's Changbin Township to Japan's Yonaguni Island.
The jack mackerel, Trachurus japonicas, is a pelagic fish belonging to Carangidae which is widely distributed on the continental shelf waters along the subtropical Kuroshio Current and the Tsushima Warm Current in the western North Pacific (Zhu et al., 1963).
A year after the drifters were released, WHOI oceanographer Steve Jayne showed that their circuitous tracks extended halfway across the Pacific, remaining mostly north of the Kuroshio Current. Combined with surface-water samples taken by commercial "ships of opportunity" in a program organized by Aoyama, these data show cesium mixing down into the ocean and flowing east at a rate of about 7 kilometers per day.
However, because of the strength of the Kuroshio current, this pollution was spread through the entire Pacific Ocean.
4), which was mainly due to the meandering of the Kuroshio Current; or (2) weather just before and during the spawning periods (Table 1).
Two predominant currents, the warm Kuroshio Current and the cold Oyashio Current, meet in the Northwest Pacific Ocean.