5 years ago

Episodic surface intrusions in the Yellow Sea during relaxation of northerly winds

Xianqiang He, Dong-Ping Wang, Zifeng Hu, Yan Bai, Mingting Li, Delu Pan, Jun Wei
The surface currents over the Yellow and East China Seas are mapped from the Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI). Based on a composite of six intrusion events in January–April, the strong northward surface current in the Yellow Sea is shown to be concentrated along the deep trough, accompanied by a broad northward surface current over the East China Sea. From the corresponding surface winds, the episodic northward surface flow bursts appear to be associated with abrupt changes from the strong northerly winds to weak southerly winds during cold front passages. A three-dimensional model driven with observed surface winds is used to simulate the observed shelf-wide response to northerly winds. There is an outstanding agreement between the simulated and observed surface currents. The surface intrusion in the Yellow Sea is shown to be driven primarily by a barotropic longitudinal surface slope, while the strong northward current in the East China Sea is associated with a coastal trapped wave. Moreover, the surface intrusion is associated with a large volume transport, suggesting that the transient intrusions could be important in the northward heat transport. The unprecedented capability of GOCI satellite in providing a regional circulation pattern, in conjunction with complementary model simulations, could contribute greatly to understanding of the dynamics of the Yellow and East China Seas.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/2017JC012830

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