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Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 1079–1089 | Cite as

The roles of different mechanisms related to the tide-induced fronts in the Yellow Sea in summer

  • Shihe Ren
  • Jiping Xie
  • Jiang ZhuEmail author
Article

Abstract

In summer, the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM) is a stable water mass of low temperature lying at the bottom of the central Yellow Sea (YS). It is fringed by some typical tidal fronts, which separate deep, stratified water on the offshore side from the well-mixed, shallow water on the inshore side. Three striking fronts—Subei Bank Front (SBF), Shandong Peninsula Front (SPF), and Mokpo Front (MKF; a front off the southwestern tip of the Korean Peninsula)—have been identified by various studies from both satellite observations and model results. Tide plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of these fronts. However, it is still a matter of debate as to the roles these two kinds of mechanisms of upwelling and tidal mixing play, and how importance they are in the maintenance processes of the above three fronts. Basing a nested high-resolution model HYCOM (the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model), this study focuses on the different mechanisms of tidal effects on the thermal fronts in the YS in summertime. Through comparative experiments with and without tidal forcing, the results indicate that the MKF is mainly driven by tide-induced upwelling. For the SPF, tidal mixing is the dominant factor, when lower cold water is stirred upwards along the sloping topography of the western YS. Meanwhile, the combined effect of upwelling and tidal mixing is the main cause of the formation of the SBF. Diagnostic analysis of thermal balance shows that horizontal nonlinear advection induced by strong tidal currents also contributes to the thermal balance of frontal areas.

Key words

tidal front tide-induced upwelling tidal mixing thermal balance 

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Copyright information

© Chinese National Committee for International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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