Mindanao Current/Undercurrent in an eddy-resolving GCM

Tangdong Qu, Tzu Ling Chiang, Chau Ron Wu, Pierre Dutrieux, Dunxin Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Analysis of results from an eddy-resolving general circulation model showed two subsurface velocity cores in the mean within the depth range between 400 and 1000m below the Mindanao Current (MC). One is confined to the inshore edge at about 126.8°E and connected with the Sulawesi Sea. The other takes place somewhat offshore around 127.7°E, being closely related to the intrusion of South Pacific water. Both cores are referred to as the Mindanao Undercurrent (MUC). The MC/MUC is approximately a geostrophic flow, except on the inshore edge of the MUC where up to 50% of the mean flow can be explained by ageostrophic dynamics. In contrast with the well-defined southward flowing MC, the MUC is of high velocity variance relative to the mean. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis shows that approximately 60% of the total velocity variance is associated with two meandering modes, with their major signatures in the subthermocline. The dominant time scale of variability is 50-100days. An ensemble of these meso-scale fluctuations provides a northward freshwater flux on the offshore edge of the Philippine coast, which to a certain extent explains why water of South Pacific origin appears to extend farther northward than the mean MUC. In the offshore velocity core of the MUC, for example, eddy induced freshwater flux is equivalent to a mean flow of about 0.3ms-1 in the density range between 26.9 and 27.3kgm-3, which is greater than the mean current by a factor of 6.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberC06026
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume117
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 1

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undercurrent
general circulation model
eddy
vortices
Fluxes
Orthogonal functions
General Circulation Models
Water
Philippines
Indonesia
geostrophic flow
Coastal zones
orthogonal functions
water
intrusion
coasts
signatures
timescale
coast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Mindanao Current/Undercurrent in an eddy-resolving GCM. / Qu, Tangdong; Chiang, Tzu Ling; Wu, Chau Ron; Dutrieux, Pierre; Hu, Dunxin.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, Vol. 117, No. 6, C06026, 01.01.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Qu, Tangdong ; Chiang, Tzu Ling ; Wu, Chau Ron ; Dutrieux, Pierre ; Hu, Dunxin. / Mindanao Current/Undercurrent in an eddy-resolving GCM. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 2012 ; Vol. 117, No. 6.
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