Studies of the Tsushima Current


Arnold Gordon,, 845 365-8325
Hsien-Wang Ou,, 845 365-8338
Claudia F. Giulivi,

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
Palisades, NY 10964-8000

Award Number



To understand the structure, interannual and seasonal variability of the Japan Sea's Tsushima Current and its relationship to the upstream condition, the Japan Sea warm core eddy field and subpolar front.


To achieve the objectives, we have adopted a two-pronged approach employing both data analysis and modeling.

A. Data Analysis: Using high quality in situ hydrographic data and TOPEX POSEIDON altimetric data, define the mean, seasonal and interannual variability of Tsushima Current and sea level in the context of the geometry of the eastern boundary of the Japan Sea and distribution of warm core eddies.

B. Modeling: Through analytical models, we examine the dynamics of the Tsushima Current as it interacts with topography, coastal boundary, and air-sea fluxes.

R/V Hakuho Maru KH99404—Japan Sea Cruise

During the fall season of 1999 the division of physical oceanography of the Ocean Research Institute of Tokyo (ORI) accomplished an extensive set of hydrographic observations in the southern part of the Japan Sea on board the R/V Hakuho Maru. The primary goals of the fieldwork phase were:
  1. Intermediate and deep circulation in the Yamato Basin, the southern basin of the Japan Sea. The intermediate water formed off Siberia is thought to enter to the basin, and if so, where and how much the mass is transported.
  2. Mass transport through the Tsushima Strait, the southern part of the Japan Sea, which should be used as the calibration of voltage differences observed with bottom cable by RIAM, Kyushu University between Tsushima and Fukuoka.
Cruise map (PDF, 188 KB)