Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 946–954

A note on the South China Sea shallow interocean circulation

  • Fang Guohong
  • Dwi Susanto
  • Indroyono Soesilo
  • Quan’an Zheng
  • Qiao Fangli
  • Wei Zexun
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF02918693

Cite this article as:
Guohong, F., Susanto, D., Soesilo, I. et al. Adv. Atmos. Sci. (2005) 22: 946. doi:10.1007/BF02918693

Abstract

The existing estimates of the volume transport from the Pacific Ocean to the South China Sea are summarized, showing an annual mean westward transport, with the Taiwan Strait outflow subtracted, of 3.5±2.0 Sv (1 Sv=106 m3 s−1). Results of a global ocean circulation model show an annual mean transport of 3.9 Sv from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean through the South China Sea. The boreal winter transport is larger and exhibits a South China Sea branch of the Pacific-to-Indian Ocean throughflow, which originates from the western Philippine Sea toward the Indonesian Seas through the South China Sea, as well as through the Karimata and Mindoro Straits. The southwestward current near the continental slope of the northern South China Sea is shown to be a combination of this branch and the interior circulation gyre. This winter branch can be confirmed by trajectories of satellite-tracked drifters, which clearly show a flow from the Luzón Strait to the Karimata Strait in winter. In summer, the flow in the Karimata Strait is reversed. Numerical model results indicate that the Pacific water can enter the South China Sea and exit toward the Sulu Sea, but no observational evidence is available. The roles of the throughflow branch in the circulation, water properties and air-sea exchange of the South China Sea, and in enhancing and regulating the volume transport and reducing the heat transport of the Indonesian Throughflow, are discussed.

Key words

South China Sea interocean circulation branch of the Pacific-to-Indian Ocean throughflow Karimata Strait 

Copyright information

© Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fang Guohong
    • 1
  • Dwi Susanto
    • 2
  • Indroyono Soesilo
    • 3
  • Quan’an Zheng
    • 4
  • Qiao Fangli
    • 1
  • Wei Zexun
    • 1
  1. 1.First Institute of Oceanography, Key Laboratory of Marine Science and Numerical ModelingState Oceanic AdministrationQingdao
  2. 2.Lamont-Doherty Earth ObservatoryColumbia UniversityPalisades
  3. 3.Agency for Marine Affairs and Fisheries ResearchMinistry of Marine Affairs and FisheriesJakarta
  4. 4.Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic ScienceUniversity of Maryland

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