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Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 77–92 | Cite as

The Current System in the Yellow and East China Seas

  • Hiroshi Ichikawa
  • Robert C. Beardsley
Article

Abstract

During the 1990s, our knowledge and understanding of the current system in the Yellow and East China Seas have grown significantly due primarily to new technologies for measuring surface currents and making high-resolution three-dimensional numerical model calculations. One of the most important new findings in this decade is direct evidence of the northward current west of Kyushu provided by satellite-tracked surface drifters. In the East China Sea shelf region, these recent studies indicate that in winter the Tsushima Warm Current has a single source, the Kuroshio Branch Current in the west of Kyushu, which transports a mixture of Kuroshio Water and Changjiang River Diluted Water northward. In summer the surface Tsushima Warm Current has multiple sources, i.e., the Taiwan Warm Current, the Kuroshio Branch Current to the north of Taiwan, and the Kuroshio Branch Current west of Kyushu. The summer surface circulation pattern in the East China Sea shelf region changes year-to-year corresponding to interannual variations in Changjiang River discharge. Questions concerning the Yellow Sea Warm Current, the Chinese Coastal Current in the Yellow Sea, the current field southwest of Kyushu, and the deep circulation in the Okinawa Trough remain to be addressed in the next decade.

East China Sea Yellow Sea Kuroshio Tsushima Warm Current Changjiang River 

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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Ichikawa
    • 1
  • Robert C. Beardsley
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of FisheriesKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Physical OceanographyWoods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleU.S.A

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