Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 483–493 | Cite as

Subtidal variability in the Taiwan Strait induced by combined forcing of winter monsoon and topography

  • Li Li
  • Xiaogang Guo
  • Enhui Liao
  • Yuwu Jiang
Research Paper


As an important channel connecting the East and South China Seas, circulations in the Taiwan Strait are strongly influenced by the East Asian monsoon and the topography of the strait, especially the Taiwan Bank (TWB), which is a remarkable topographic feature located at the southern entrance to the strait. Based on a series of pressure gauges deployed roughly 40 km offshore along the western Strait, subtidal sea-level variability under the combined impact of winter monsoon and topography was studied. The analyses show significant along-strait coherences of subtidal sea levels and their coherences with the large-scale monsoon wind for periods from 2 to 14 days. It is suggested that these fluctuations are mainly forced waves driven by the large-scale winds. In addition to the normal cross-shore wind setup, a sea-level setup in the along-strait direction is confirmed, which is induced by the combined forcing of the fluctuating winter monsoon and the blocking of the TWB. A southward current surge driven by a northerly wind event will cause a rising sea level over the TWB inducing a southward along-shore slope anomaly to the north of the TWB and a reversed slope anomaly to the south. The subtidal current through the channel to the west of the TWB is found to be influenced by the reversed slope anomalies generated via the along-shore setup.


Subtidal variabilities Along-strait sea level setup Taiwan Strait Taiwan Bank 


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This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41476005 & U1305231). The field work was supported by Chinese Offshore Physical Oceanography and Marine Meteorology Investigation and Assessment Project (Grant No. 908-ZC-I-01).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Third Institute of OceanographyState Oceanic AdministrationXiamenChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental ScienceXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  3. 3.College of Earth, Ocean and EnvironmentUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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