• Rotating Stratified Barotropic Flow over Topography : Mechanisms of the Cold Belt Formation off the Soya Warm Current along the Northeastern Coast of Hokkaido

Mitsudera, Humio

Uchimoto, Keisuke

Nakamura, Tomohiro

    • © Copyright 2011 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at ( or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or
  • NDC 451
  • The Soya "Warm Current" (SWC) flows through a shallow strait between the Japan Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. The SWC has a jet structure downstream of the strait along the northern coast of Hokkaido with a maximum speed exceeding 1 m s^[-1] at its axis in summer and fall. A surface cold belt with a subsurface doming structure forms offshore of the SWC axis. Mechanisms of the cold belt formation are discussed from a point of view of resonant interaction between a barotropic stratified flow and a shallow sill and subsequent baroclinic adjustment along the SWC. When a stratified current rides a slope upstream, the thermocline displaces upward greatly and outcrops owing to resonant generation of internal Kelvin waves if the upper layer is thinner than the lower layer. The control section, where a Froude number is unity, occurs "upstream" from the sill crest when the ambient inflow has a barotropic flow component. These upwelling features closely resemble those along the southwestern coast of Sakhalin Island. The SWC then flips from an upwelling-type to a downwelling-type structure; in doing so, it transits from the west coast of Sakhalin to the east coast of Hokkaido. It is this transition that leads to the offshore doming structure, which propagates downstream as a vorticity wave, manifesting the cold belt at the surface.
PublisherAmerican Meteorological Society
Date Issued 2011-11
NIItypejournal article
Identifier URI
  • isIdenticalTo DOI
    • ISSN 0022-3670
    • Journal of Physical Oceanography
    41(11), 2120-2136