(2022) Coastal Sea Level forced by Western Boundary Currents' paths? The example of the Gulf Stream and of the Kuroshio.

Scroll to end of post for video. Image credit: Sam Tiéfolo Diabaté, OSM22

On the 28/02/2022, I gave a talk entitled “Coastal Sea Level forced by Western Boundary Currents' paths? The example of the Gulf Stream and of the Kuroshio” during the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2022 (OSM22).

The Gulf Stream and the Kuroshio are the two great western boundary currents of the northern hemisphere. The first emerges in the eponymous Gulf of Mexico, circumnavigates Florida, follows the eastern coast of the U.S. from which it detaches at Cape Hatteras to cross the North Atlantic towards Europe. The Kuroshio emerges east of the Philippino island of Luzon, then flows between Taiwan and the Japanese archipelago of the Ryūkyū Islands and joins the Pacific south of Japan. There, and in a similar fashion to the Gulf Stream, it detaches from the continental slope and meanders freely into the open ocean as the Kuroshio Extension.

Regional changes of sea level forced by changes in intensity and/or path of these two currents have been studied by many researchers, but always in an independent manner, i.e. with no comparison between the two regions. With my co-authors, we compared the relationship of the Gulf Stream and Kuroshio with coastal sea-level in their adjacent regions. We found both ressemblances and divergences.

My talk at OSM22 presented these results, which have also been summarised in a scientific publication (read more here). My talk was part of the session “OC03, Towards understanding coastal sea-level variability and change”. A recorded working version of my intervention can be read from the player below.

Due to COVID19, OSM22 was fully remote, as many other conferences over the past two years. This brings a number of new challenges. Nonetheless, OSM22 sessions that focused on coastal sea-level variability and change were very interesting. I believe the discussions they featured allowed many of the researchers who took part, including me, to advance in their research. I thank the organisers who did a fantastic job: Dr. Soenke Dangendorf, Dr. Marta Marcos, Dr. Alejandra Rodriguez Enriquez and Dr. Christopher Piecuch.


Courtesy of OSM22. This is a working version/a draft only. Contrary to what I say towards the end of the video, there was no breakout room after the presentations, but rather a discussion with all presenters and listeners, which was great.

Sam Tiéfolo Diabaté
Sam Tiéfolo Diabaté
Doctoral researcher in Physical Oceanography

My research focuses on ocean currents and sea level.