Journal of Oceanography

, 65:721 | Cite as

A numerical study of the seasonal circulation in the Seto Inland Sea, Japan

Original Articles


The seasonal variation of water circulation in the Seto Inland Sea is investigated using a high resolution, three-dimensional numerical ocean model. The model results are assessed by comparison with long-term mean surface current and hydrographic data. The simulated model results are consistent with observations, showing a distinct summer and winter circulation patterns. In summer the sea water is highly stratified in basin regions, while it is well mixed near the straits due to strong tidal mixing there. During this period, a cold dome is formed in several basins, setting up stable cyclonic eddies. The cyclonic circulation associated with the cold dome develops from May and disappears in autumn when the surface cooling starts. The experiment without freshwater input shows that a basin-scale estuarine circulation coexists with cyclonic eddy in summer. The former becomes dominant in autumn circulation after the cold dome disappears. In winter the water is vertically well mixed, and the winter winds play a significant role in the circulation. The northwesterly winds induce upwind (downwind) currents over the deep (shallow) water, forming a “double-gyre pattern” in the Suo-Nada, two cyclonic eddies in Hiuchi-Nada, and anticyclonic circulation in Harima-Nada in vertically averaged current fields.


Numerical simulation general circulation seasonal variation cold dome cyclonic eddy wind-induced circulation Seto Inland Sea 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Meteorological ResearchSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Center for Marine Environmental StudiesEhime UniversityBunkyo-cho, MatsuyamaJapan

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