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Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 38, Issue 9, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Impact of the water input from the eastern Qiongzhou Strait to the Beibu Gulf on Guangxi coastal circulation

  • Bo ChenEmail author
  • Zhixin Xu
  • Hanzheng Ya
  • Xianyun Chen
  • Mingben Xu
Article

Abstract

Based on a comparison of synchronized temperature and salinity data collected in the eastern Qiongzhou Strait and at coastal marine stations, this study finds that, in summer, the variation in salinity near the Weizhou Island in Guangxi is similar to that in the eastern and central portions of the Qiongzhou Strait. Additionally, the Beihai Station in Guangxi exhibits a small salinity variation, whereas the Longmen and Bailongwei Stations, both of which are located far from the Qiongzhou Strait, mainly exhibit continental hydrological characteristics in summer. Moreover, a comparison of the multi-year ocean current data from the Qiongzhou Strait and ocean current observations from the Weizhou Island Station and recently installed current-measuring stations shows that the residual current in the Qiongzhou Strait flows westward in winter and summer. The numerical simulation results also indicate that water from the eastern Qiongzhou Strait enters the Beibu Gulf. The characteristics of the temperature and salinity distributions and analyses of the residual currents further confirm that the western Guangdong coastal current is the main source of the westward transport of water in the Qiongzhou Strait. The primary driver of the formation of the western Guangdong coastal current is the westward flow of freshwater from the Zhujiang (Pearl) River. This water enters the Beibu Gulf via the Qiongzhou Strait and enhances the formation of the cyclonic circulation in the northern Beibu Gulf. In summer, the strong influence of the southwesterly wind leads to the formation of a strong northward coastal current along the western coast of the Beibu Gulf. This process promotes the transport of low-salinity diluted water toward the open ocean and the formation of larger-scale cyclonic circulation around Weizhou Island in the eastern Beibu Gulf. The results of this study regarding the effects of the water inflow from the eastern Qiongzhou Strait to the Beibu Gulf on the Guangxi coastal circulation directly challenge conventional conclusions concerning the transport direction of water through the Qiongzhou Strait in winter and summer.

Key words

temperature and salinity characteristics circulation mechanism Qiongzhou Strait Guangxi coast 

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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanography and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhixin Xu
    • 1
  • Hanzheng Ya
    • 1
  • Xianyun Chen
    • 1
  • Mingben Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Guangxi Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Beibu Gulf Marine Research CenterGuangxi Academy of SciencesNanningChina

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