Seasonal migration of the Yellow Sea Bottom Cold Water

Bin Wang, Naoki Hirose, Boonsoon Kang, Katsumi Takayama

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    49 Citations (Scopus)


    The three-dimensional motion of the Yellow Sea Bottom Cold Water (YSBCW) and the relevant dynamical factors are studied using a regional circulation model and the two-way Lagrangian particle tracking method (PTM). The simulated results are in good agreement with hydrographic observations. The trajectories of the modeled particles show that the subsurface cold heavy water mass from the northern part of the Yellow Sea gradually sinks into deeper layers along the western slope of the Yellow Sea trough with a southward movement from spring to summer. The cold water mass gradually gathers speed from early March to July or August, and eventually reaches its southernmost location in late September or early October. Furthermore, sensitivity experiments demonstrate that tide-induced residual currents under baroclinic conditions are the dominant factor driving deep circulation during summertime in the Yellow Sea. The summer southerly wind and strong surface solar radiation are the secondary factors influencing the southward migration. This study also proposes an improved delimitation for the YSBCW based on temperature statistics in the central basin (deeper than 40 m) between 35°N and 39°N in March with an increase in rate of approximately 0.7°C/month, which is more appropriate than the constants of the 8°C or 10°C isotherms frequently used. Key Points The results show that the Yellow Sea Bottom Cold Water moves southward during summer Tide-induced residual current is dominant on the motion of the YSBCW An improved delimitation for the YSBCW has been proposed

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4430-4443
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Geochemistry and Petrology
    • Geophysics
    • Oceanography
    • Space and Planetary Science
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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