The intra-seasonal variation of the Kuroshio southeast of Taiwan has been studied using satellite data and a numerical model. Superimposed with the main stream of the Kuroshio, two intra-seasonal signals are revealed in the study region. The fluctuation with a period of 1-6 months results from offshore eddies. The westward propagating cyclonic eddies can reduce or reverse the northward flow east of the Kuroshio between 121° and 123° E, but only slightly touch the core velocity of the Kuroshio. The fluctuation with a period of 2-4 weeks is only significant between Taiwan and the Lan-Yu Island (the low-velocity region). Different mechanisms are responsible for the fluctuation in the low-velocity region in different seasons. In winter, the change of negative wind stress curl in the northeastern South China Sea modulates the circulation southeast of Taiwan, while the typhoon-induced intense wind is responsible for the current fluctuation in summer.
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