Numerical study on the interactions between the Kuroshio current in the Luzon Strait and a mesoscale eddy

Yi Chun Kuo, Ching Sheng Chern, Zhe Wen Zheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The Luzon Strait (LS) connects the northwestern Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea (SCS) and is the western boundary gap for the Kuroshio current (KC). Satellite observations indicate that a cyclonic mesoscale eddy can trigger westward extension of the KC into the SCS and shed a smaller anticyclonic eddy to the west of the LS. We used a nonlinear reduced-gravity (primitive equation) model to study this phenomenon and analyzed the dynamic process. The location of the collision between the eddy and the KC could be critical for varying the circulation in the LS. The eddy’s deformation rate, associated with its decaying speed, is also closely related to the location of the eddy during collision. When a cyclonic eddy moved from a region to the east of the Luzon Island toward the LS, the KC intruded into the SCS with growing negative vorticity during the collision of the eddy and KC. This tendency for negative vorticity is attributed to the beta effect and squeezing of the planetary vorticity caused by the flow divergence. As the eddy dissipated, the KC in the LS recovered its original pattern. When the collision of the eddy occurred at the center of the LS, the momentum balance of the KC loop was dominated by the inertial term, and the circulation in the LS remained in a leaping state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-381
Number of pages13
JournalOcean Dynamics
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 1


  • Kuroshio
  • Luzon Strait
  • Mesoscale eddy
  • Western boundary current

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


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