The South China Sea warm-core ring 94S and its influence on the distribution of chemical tracers
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In this paper, the distributions of currents and chemical tracers were studied along two hydrographic sections across ring 94S, a warm-core ring found in the South China Sea. Results suggest that while currents on its offshore side maintained quasigeostrophic balance, such a balance was not reached on its onshore side. Therefore, it is suggested that interactions of ring 94S with the slope may play an important role: it may break down the quasigeostrophic balance and cause a deformation of the current field. The observed distribution of δ18O supports the hypothesis that water masses inside the ring originate from the Kuroshio. Distributions of chemical tracers reveal a strong vertical disturbance of the isolines at the edge of ring 94S, where it approaches the shelf. This phenomenon may play an important role in the vertical exchange of biochemical elements across the thermocline. Possible reasons, i.e., enhanced vertical mixing and upwelling, are discussed.
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