Spring-season flow of the Tsushima Current and its separation from the Kuroshio: satellite evidence.
Attempts to determine where and how seperation between the Kuroshio and Tsushima Current occurs have been inconclusive. Spring season satellite data acquired over a number of years reveals two conditions important to this question: (1) an areally extensive zone of mixing between the Kuroshio and shelf waters occuring along the edge of the East China Sea shelf, and (2) plumes of warm water from the Kuroshio extending into the mixed water west of Kyushu. This mixed water is observed to form the Tsushima Current in the outer shelf of the northern East China Sea and Korea Strait. Warm plumes branching from the north wall of the Kuroshio are seen with particular clarity in imagery of April 23, 1981, and February 21, 1982. Details of the split suggest that branching was a transient event.