Deep current structure in the Toyama Deep-Sea Channel in the Japan Sea

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The flow field in the Toyama Deep-Sea Channel (TDSC) in the Japan Sea was investigated based on mooring observations. An asymmetric current system accompanying offshore and onshore currents over the east- and west-side slopes in the channel, respectively, is suggested. A bottom intensified flow characteristic was observed at the offshore stations in the Yamato Basin. The asymmetric current system in the channel is also suggested by the asymmetric distribution of water characteristics across the TDSC in Toyama Bay; a cold dense water mass with higher dissolved oxygen (DO) and higher transmittance (Tr) was found over the west-side slope of the channel, whereas a water mass with lower DO and lower Tr was distributed over the east-side slope, suggesting a turbidity current from the head of Toyama Bay. The currents facing the shallower depth on their right-hand-side, along with the density distribution in the TDSC, suggest a density current system under the influence of the earth’s rotation. The dissolved oxygen concentration in the TDSC was significantly lower than that in the offshore region of the same temperature range. This suggests that the water mass over the west-side slope in the TDSC is a modified offshore water mass which experienced significant mixing with the low DO water mass over the east-side slope in the TDSC, probably due to strong shear between the offshore and onshore currents in the narrow channel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Oceanography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography


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