National High Technology Research and Development Program of China [2012AA091003]
; 100 Talent Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
; National Natural Science Foundation of China [41476012, 91228202, 41476013, 41476011, 41476014]
; Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology [2012A032100004]
Using high-resolution in situ data from gliders, satellite data of sea level anomaly and geostrophic currents, we presented the detailed structure of an anticyclonic eddy during spring 2015 in the northern South China Sea. The impact depth of the anticyclonic eddy reached about 1000 m and had a maximum temperature anomaly of about 3 degrees C at similar to 120 m and maximum salinity anomaly of more than 0.3 psu in the mixed layer. The maximum geostrophic velocities perpendicular to the glider path were about 0.3 m s(-1) at 100 m. The estimated radius was about 72 km and the translation velocity was about 5.2 cm s(-1). The rotational speed of the eddy was estimated to be 0.35 m s(-1). The high temperature and large salinity of the anticyclonic eddy indicated it did not originate from the South China Sea locally. The analysis of water mass indicated the character of the eddy water was similar to Kuroshio water, and the time evolution of the sea level anomaly and surface geostrophic velocity anomaly further validated that it originated from the Kuroshio intrusion as a loop current to the southwest of Taiwan.