Seasonal circulation of the Yellow Sea (YS) in response to wind and tidal forces is examined using a three-dimensional numerical model. Wind forcing affects the wintertime circulation of the YS; on the other hand, the summer southerly monsoon is weak and therefore has little impact on the circulation, on the basis of comparative experiments with and without wind conditions. Results indicate that the Yellow Sea Warm Current (YSWC) along the YS trough exists regardless of wind forcing. However, strong winter northerly winds intensify the southward coastal flows along both coasts of the YS, and therefore, the northward intrusion of the YSWC becomes stronger. These flows in the YS are substantially weakened when wind forcing is not applied to the model. In addition to wind-driven circulation, tide-induced circulation is also dominant in the YS, particularly in summer. In winter, the tidal effect weakens the upwind and downwind flows in response to the strong northerly winds, while in summer, tidal forcing induces a strong southward residual flow along the western slope and a cyclonic gyre with a bottom cold water dome at the central region of the YS. The southward residual current possibly explains the southward movement of the Yellow Sea Bottom Cold Water as observed in summer. Comparison to the effects of parameterized tidal mixing suggests that residual flow driven by explicit tidal forcing plays an important role in the summertime circulation of the YS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science