Seasonal and interannual changes of surface Kuroshio intensity and central position east of Taiwan during 1993-2012 are investigated by quantitatively analyzing the satellite altimetry product. The Kuroshio moves inshore (offshore) off northeast of Taiwan in winter (summer), whereas it has an offshore (inshore) path off southeast of Taiwan in winter (summer). The seasonal change of heat flux over the East China Sea shelf is found to cause the seasonality of the Kuroshio central position off northeast of Taiwan, whereas the seasonal Kuroshio movement off southeast of Taiwan is found to be induced by the combined effect of the Kuroshio changes through the Luzon Strait and the eastern Luzon Island. In contrast to this y-dependent path changes, the Kuroshio becomes weaker (stronger) as a whole east of Taiwan in winter (summer). On the interannual time scales, the Kuroshio throughout the eastern coast of Taiwan intensifies and has a concurrent offshore path during the periods of 1995-1997 and 2004-2007. The relative intensity of cyclonic eddies to anticyclonic eddies off eastern Taiwan are found to contribute to these interannual Kuroshio changes.
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