Quasi-biennial variability in the Japan Sea

Naoki Hirose, Alexander G. Ostrovskii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) altimetry reveals quasi-biennial (QB) variability in the southern Japan Sea. Sea surface height anomalies of a biennial nature are most energetic in the Yamato Basin, the southeastern most part of the Japan Sea, where they can be as large as 20 cm and extend for 100-200 km. On the basis of the in situ measurements of Maizuru Marine Observatory, the 2-3 year variations are associated with thermohaline anomalies in the upper 300 m layer. The local QB oscillation is studied with a reduced gravity model of the Japan Sea. The model is forced by European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting daily wind and seasonal inflows/outflows through the three major straits of the sea. The model sensitivity experiments suggest that the QB variability can be associated with the sea's response to wind forcing of particular years, more specifically, 1992 and 1996, and to some extent, 1994. An approximate Kalman filter is employed for assimilation of the T/P altimeter data into the reduced gravity model. It filters out observational noise and intraseasonal sea level variability and allows the model to dynamically interpolate T/P observations. The results of the assimilation indicate that the QB anomalies are strongest at 37.5° N, 134.5° E and propagate west-northwest with a speed of ∼0.01 m s-1, contributing to variations of the Tsushima Warm Current.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000JC900046
Pages (from-to)14011-14027
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue numberC6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


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