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


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 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Antonov, J. I., R. Locarnini, T. Boyer, A. Mishonov, H. Garcia, and S. Levitus, 2006: World Ocean Atlas 2005, Vol. 2: Salinity. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 62, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 182 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Bleck, R., 2002: An oceanic general circulation model framed in hybrid isopycnic-Cartesian coordinates. Ocean Modelling, 4, 55–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Casey, K. S., T. B. Brandon, P. Cornillon, and R. Evans, 2010: The past, present, and future of the AVHRR Pathfinder SST program. Oceanography from Space, Springer, 273–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chassignet, E. P., L. T. Smith, G. R. Halliwell, and R. Bleck, 2003: North Atlantic simulations with the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM): Impact of the vertical coordinate choice, reference density, and thermobaricity. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 33, 2504–2526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chassignet, E. P., and Coauthors, 2007: The HYCOM (HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model) data assimilative system. J. Mar. Syst., 65, 60–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dee, D., and Coauthors, 2011: The ERA-Interim reanalysis: Configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, 553–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dong, C. M., H. W. Ou, D. Chen, and M. Visbeck, 2004: Tidally induced cross-frontal mean circulation: Analytical study. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 34, 293–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Donlon, C. J., M. Martin, J. Stark, J. Roberts-Jones, E. Fiedler, and W. Wimmer, 2012: The Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis (OSTIA) system. Remote Sensing of Environment, 116, 140–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fang, G. H., Y. G. Wang, Z. X. Wei, B. H. Choi, X. Y. Wang, and J. Wang, 2004: Empirical cotidal charts of the Bohai, Yellow, and East China Seas from 10 years of TOPEX/Poseidon altimetry. J. Geophys. Res., 109, doi:10.1029/2004JC002484.Google Scholar
  10. Garrett, C. J. R., and H. Loucks, 1976: Upwelling along the Yarmouth shore of Nova Scotia. Journal of the Fisheries Board of Canada, 33, 116–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Garrett, C., and J. Loder, 1981: Dynamical aspects of shallow sea fronts. Philos. Trans. Roy. Soc. London., 302, 563–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hu, D. X., M. C. Cui, Y. X. Li, and T. D. Qu, 1991: On the Yellow Sea cold water mass-related circulation. Yellow Sea Research, 4, 79–88. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. Large, W. G., J. C. McWilliams, and S. C. Doney, 1994: Oceanic vertical mixing: A review and a model with a nonlocal boundary layer parameterization. Rev. Geophys., 32, 363–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Large, W. G., G. Danabasoglu, S. C. Doney, and J. C. McWilliams, 1997: Sensitivity to surface forcing and boundary layer mixing in a global ocean model: Annual-mean climatology. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 27, 2418–2447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lee, S. H., and R. C. Beardsley, 1999: Influence of stratification on residual tidal currents in the Yellow Sea. J. Geophys. Res., 104, 15679–15701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lie, H. J., 1986: Summertime hydrographic features in the Southeastern Hwanghae. Prog. Oceanogr., 17, 229–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lie, H. J., 1989: Tidal fronts in the southeastern Hwanghae (Yellow Sea). Cont. Shelf Res., 9, 527–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liu, G. M., H. Wang, S. Sun, and B. P. Han, 2003: Numerical study on the velocity structure around tidal fronts in the Yellow Sea. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 20, 453–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Locarnini, R. A., A. Mishonov, J. Antonov, T. Boyer, H. Garcia, and S. Levitus, 2006: World Ocean Atlas 2005, Vol. 1: Temperature. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 61, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 182 pp.Google Scholar
  20. Lu, X. G., F. L. Qiao, C. S. Xia, and Y. L. Yuan, 2007: Tidally induced upwelling off Yangtze River estuary and in Zhejiang coastal waters in summer. Science in China (D), 50, 462–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lu, X. G., F. L. Qiao, C. S. Xia, G. S. Wang, and Y. L. Yuan, 2010: Upwelling and surface cold patches in the Yellow Sea in summer: Effects of tidal mixing on the vertical circulation. Cont. Shelf Res., 30, 620–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lyard, F., F. Lefevre, T. Letellier, and O. Francis, 2006: Modelling the global ocean tides: modern insights from FES2004. Ocean Dynamics, 56, 394–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ma, J., F. L. Qiao, C. S. Xia, and Y. Z. Yang, 2004: Tidal effects on temperature front in the Yellow Sea. Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 22, 314–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Moon, J. H., N. Hirose, and J. H. Yoon, 2009: Comparison of wind and tidal contributions to seasonal circulation of the Yellow Sea. J. Geophys. Res., 114, C8, doi:10.1029/2009JC005314.Google Scholar
  25. Oki, T., and Y. Sud, 1998: Design of Total Runoff Integrating Pathways (TRIP)-A global river channel network. Earth Interactions, 2, 1–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Simpson, J., and J. Hunter, 1974: Fronts in the Irish Sea. Nature, 250, 404–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Smolarkiewicz, P. K., and W. W. Grabowski, 1990: The multidimensional positive definite advection transport algorithm: Nonoscillatory option. J. Comput. Phys., 86, 355–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Su, J., and D. J. Huang, 1995: On the current field associated with the Yellow Sea ColdWater Mass. Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica, 26(S1), 1–7. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  29. Troccoli, A., and P. Kållberg, 2004: Precipitation correction in the ERA-40 reanalysis. ERA-40 project report series, No. 13. European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Shinfield, Reading, UK, 6 pp. [Available online at]Google Scholar
  30. Uppala, S. M., and Coauthors, 2005: The ERA-40 re-analysis. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 131, 2961–3012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wan, L. Y., J. Zhu, L. Bertino, and H. Wang, 2008: Initial ensemble generation and validation for ocean data assimilation using HYCOM in the Pacific. Ocean Dynamics, 58, 81–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Xia, C. S., F. L. Qiao, Y. Z. Yang, J. Ma, and Y. L. Yuan, 2006: Three-dimensional structure of the summertime circulation in the Yellow Sea from a wave-tide-circulation coupled model. J. Geophys. Res., 111, 2156–2202.Google Scholar
  33. Xia, Z. W., and B. H. Guo, 1983: The cold water and upwelling in the tip areas of Shandong peninsula and Liaodong peninsula. Journal of Oceanography of Huanghai & Bohai Seas, 1, 13–19. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  34. Xie, J., F. Counillon, J. Zhu, and L. Bertino, 2011: An eddy resolving tidal-driven model of the South China Sea assimilating along-track SLA data using the EnOI. Ocean Science, 7, 609–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhao, B., 1986: The fronts of the Huanghai cold water mass (HCWM) induced by tidal mixing. Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 4, 159–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhao, B., 1987: A preliminary study of continental shelf fronts in the western part of Southern Huanghai Sea and circulation structure in the front region of the Huanghai cold water mass (HCWM). Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica, 3, 159–170. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  37. Zou, E. M., B. H. Guo, Y. X. Tang, J.-H. Lee, and H.-J. Lie, 2001: An analysis of summer hydrographic features and circulation in the southern Yellow Sea and the northern East China Sea. Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica, 32, 340–348. (in Chinese)Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations