Influence of orographically steered winds on Mutsu Bay surface currents

Satoshi Yamaguchi, Hiroshi Kawamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of spatially dependent sea surface wind field on currents in Mutsu Bay, which is located at the northern end of Japanese Honshu Island, are investigated using winds derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images and a numerical model. A characteristic wind pattern over the bay was evidenced from analysis of 118 SAR images and coincided with in situ observations. Wind is topographically steered with easterly winds entering the bay through the terrestrial gap and stronger wind blowing over the central water toward its mouth. Nearshore winds are weaker due to terrestrial blockages. Using the Princeton Ocean Model, we investigated currents forced by the observed spatially dependent wind field. The predicted current pattern agrees well with available observations. For a uniform wind field of equal magnitude and average direction, the circulation pattern departs from observations demonstrating that vorticity input due to spatially dependent wind stress is essential in generation of the wind-driven current in Mutsu Bay.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberC09010
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Sept 8
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


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