Having a closer look

Lively Data : August 4, 2003

The Pacific Ocean nearly covers half of the Earth. The "stars" of its waters are El Niño and La Niña, but there are other features of interest. If we look at its North-western quarter, we can see a very turbulent area, near Japan.


The Kuroshio (or Kuro Shivo) is a western boundary current, like the Gulf Stream, its counterpart in the Atlantic Ocean (see Applications: Mean Dynamic Topography).

Like the Gulf Stream, it's an area with many eddies (hills and valleys), sometimes varying high.
The steeper the slope, the faster the currents, circulationg clockwise around the hills and counter-clockwise around the valleys (in the Northern Hemisphere).