Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 171–183 | Cite as

Seasonal and interannual variations in the East Sakhalin current revealed by TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter data

  • Naoto Ebuchi


Seasonal and interannual variations in the East Sakhalin Current (ESC) are investigated using ten-year records of the sea level anomaly (SLA) observed by the TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P) altimeter. The T/P SLA clearly documents seasonal and interannual variations in the ESC along the east coast of Sakhalin Island, although sea ice masks the region from January to April. Estimates of surface current velocity anomaly derived from T/P SLA are in good agreement with drifting buoy observations. The ESC is strong in winter, with a typical current velocity of 30–40 cm s−1 in December, and almost disappears in summer. Southward flow of the ESC is confined to the shelf and slope region and consists of two velocity cores. These features of the ESC are consistent with short-term observations reported in previous studies. Analysis of the ten-year records of T/P SLA confirms that the structure of the ESC is maintained each winter and the seasonal cycle is repeated every year, although the strength of the ESC shows large interannual variations. Seasonal and interannual variations in the ESC are discussed in relation to wind-driven circulation in the Sea of Okhotsk, using wind stress and wind stress curl fields derived from European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis data and a scatterometer-derived wind product. Seasonal and interannual variations of the anticyclonic eddy in the Kuril Basin are also revealed using T/P SLA.


East Sakhalin Current Sea of Okhotsk TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimetry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naoto Ebuchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversityKita-ku, SapporoJapan

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