Taiwan Ocean Prediction (TOP) Research Highlights
We are developing an ocean current and wave prediction model: the Taiwan Ocean Prediction (TOP) system that eventually will include also air-sea (with typhoons) and air-sea-ice coupling, as well as biogeochemical processes. An example of the simulated SST over the entire North Pacific Ocean is given below.
TOP sea-surface temperature (SST) on Jun/06/1988 during the developing stage of the strong 88-89 La Niña when waters as cold as 19℃ is simulated in the eastern equatorial Pacific in excellent agreement with observation (http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/la-nina-story.html). TOP also simulates a beautiful meandering Kuroshio that separates off the eastern coast of Japan, as well as the intrusion of very warm waters (SST≈31℃ ) into the South China Sea through the Luzon Strait.
(Animation courtesy of H.F. Lu)
ATOP significant wave height (m; color) and wind (m/s; vectors) in August 2012. Several tropical storms passed the western North Pacific during this period, and wave heights as high as 12 meters are seen.
The ATOP-Wave Hindcast/Forecast Model is developed by
Dr. Hitoshi Tamura of JAMSTEC, Japan.
(Tropical Storms: Damrey: 7/28-8/02/2012; Haikui: 8/02-8/08/2012; Kirogi: 8/04-8/09/2012; Kai-tak: 8/12-8/17/2012; Tembin: 8/19-8/30/2012 & Bolaven: 8/20-8/28/2012)
Below: Internal tides in Northern South China Sea - Shown
are the anamoly of 20 ℃ isotherm & currents at z=-100m
(ATOP tidal simulations courtesy of Dr. Sergey Varlamov of JAMSTEC, Japan)
Idealized ATOP simulation of particles initially injected into a warm eddy centered at (130E,19N) and diameter = 200km (day1), and trapped and carried westward by the eddy (day1-300) before being dispersed and expelled from the eddy as the latter slowly drains its mass when it encounters the Luzon Gap (day400) [Simmons & Nof 2002]. At day500, a portion of the eddy manages to squeeze through the gap into the South China Sea. In this hypothetical experiment, the Kuroshio is absent.
Idealized ATOP simulation of particles initially injected into a warm eddy centered at (130E,23N) and diameter = 200km (day1), and trapped and carried westward by the eddy (day1-400). The eddy then strikes the wall (“Taiwan”), is deformed (day450) and elongated (day500) northward along the wall [Nof 1999]. Unlike the gap-squeezing case, very little particles are expelled and the eddy’s mass continues northward along the wall, as first postulated by Chang and Oey  for the STCC eddies east of Taiwan. In this hypothetical experiment, the Kuroshio is absent.