Variation of water system distribution in the Sanriku Coastal Area

Kimio Hanawa, Humio Mitsudera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)


We analyzed hydrographic data obtained monthly by the Iwate Prefectural Fisheries Laboratory during 1977-1981. Our attention was focussed on the classification of waters based on the Temperature-Salinity (T-S) scatter diagram analyses, and on the extraction of the "mean state" of their distribution for each season. The "water system" was defined as "all waters occupying some specific region on the T-S plane", and the mean state for each season was expressed by the distribution of the "mode water systems" (i.e., the most commonly occuring water system). Because of the coexistence of the Tsugaru Warm Current, the Oyashio and the Kuroshio, and their large seasonal variability, the sea waters had a wide variety of T-S combinations. The detailed T-S scatter diagram analyses allowed us to classify the waters into six water systems. A time-longitude diagram of water systems and the distribution of mode water systems are presented. The latter showed clear seasonal variations of the Tsugaru Warm Current and the Oyashio. Though the water system analysis was successfully able to present the distribution of the various waters in the Sanriku Coastal Area and to clearly extract the mean state of sea conditions, it was found that the classification of water systems on the T-S plane was not complete in all cases for this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-446
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Oceanographical Society of Japan
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1986 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Soil Science
  • Engineering(all)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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