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A method based on isopycnal trajectory analysis is proposed to quantify the pathways from the subtropics to the Tropics. For a continuous stratified ocean a virtual streamfunction is defined, which can be used to characterize these pathways. This method is applied to the climatological dataset produced from a dataassimilated model. Analysis indicates that in each layer contours of the virtual streamfunction are a good approximation for streamlines, even if there is a cross-isopycnal mass flux.doi:10.1175/jpo2791.1 fatcat:wmy7h7fiyng23e4y42znfoylwq