A numerical study on the density driven circulation in the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass

Chunyan Zhou, Ping Dong (Lead / Corresponding author), Guangxue Li

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The circulation of Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM) in the Southern Yellow Sea is investigated using a diagnostic 2D MITgcm model. The resolution of the computational grid is 900 m in the horizontal and 2 m in the vertical where an initial temperature distribution corresponding to a typical measured Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass was applied. The existence of YSCWM that causes fluid density difference, is shown to produce counter-rotating cyclonic horizontal eddies in the surface layer: the inner one is anti-cyclonic (clockwise) and relatively weaker (8–10 cm s<sup>−1</sup>) while the outer one is cyclonic (anti-clockwise) and much stronger (15–20 cm s<sup>−1</sup>). This result is consistent with the surface pattern observed by Pang et al. (2004), who has shown that a mesoscale anti-cyclonic eddy (clockwise) exists in the upper layer of central southern Yellow Sea, and a basin-scale cyclonic (anticlockwise) gyre lies outside of the anti-cyclonic eddy, based on the trajectories and drifting velocities of 23 drifters. Below the thermocline, there is an anti-cyclonic (clockwise) circulation. This complex current eddy system is considered to be capable of trapping suspended sediments and depositing them near the front between YSCWM and the coastal waters off the Subei coast, providing an explanation on the sediment depth and size distribution of mud patches in the Southern Yellow Sea. Moreover, sensitive test scenarios indicate that variations of bottom friction do not substantially change the main features of the circulation structure, but will reduce the bottom current velocity, increase the surface current velocity and weaken the upwelling around the frontal area.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)457-463
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Ocean University of China
    Volume14
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

    Fingerprint

    cold water
    water mass
    eddy
    seawater
    current velocity
    Water
    Temperature distribution
    bottom friction
    drifter
    bottom current
    gyre
    thermocline
    Suspended sediments
    suspended sediment
    trapping
    coastal water
    vertical distribution
    surface layer
    upwelling
    Eddy currents

    Keywords

    • Bottom friction
    • Density driven circulation
    • MITgcm
    • Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass

    Cite this

    Zhou, Chunyan ; Dong, Ping ; Li, Guangxue. / A numerical study on the density driven circulation in the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass. In: Journal of Ocean University of China. 2015 ; Vol. 14, No. 3. pp. 457-463.
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    abstract = "The circulation of Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM) in the Southern Yellow Sea is investigated using a diagnostic 2D MITgcm model. The resolution of the computational grid is 900 m in the horizontal and 2 m in the vertical where an initial temperature distribution corresponding to a typical measured Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass was applied. The existence of YSCWM that causes fluid density difference, is shown to produce counter-rotating cyclonic horizontal eddies in the surface layer: the inner one is anti-cyclonic (clockwise) and relatively weaker (8–10 cm s−1) while the outer one is cyclonic (anti-clockwise) and much stronger (15–20 cm s−1). This result is consistent with the surface pattern observed by Pang et al. (2004), who has shown that a mesoscale anti-cyclonic eddy (clockwise) exists in the upper layer of central southern Yellow Sea, and a basin-scale cyclonic (anticlockwise) gyre lies outside of the anti-cyclonic eddy, based on the trajectories and drifting velocities of 23 drifters. Below the thermocline, there is an anti-cyclonic (clockwise) circulation. This complex current eddy system is considered to be capable of trapping suspended sediments and depositing them near the front between YSCWM and the coastal waters off the Subei coast, providing an explanation on the sediment depth and size distribution of mud patches in the Southern Yellow Sea. Moreover, sensitive test scenarios indicate that variations of bottom friction do not substantially change the main features of the circulation structure, but will reduce the bottom current velocity, increase the surface current velocity and weaken the upwelling around the frontal area.",
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    A numerical study on the density driven circulation in the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass. / Zhou, Chunyan; Dong, Ping (Lead / Corresponding author); Li, Guangxue.

    In: Journal of Ocean University of China, Vol. 14, No. 3, 06.2015, p. 457-463.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - The circulation of Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM) in the Southern Yellow Sea is investigated using a diagnostic 2D MITgcm model. The resolution of the computational grid is 900 m in the horizontal and 2 m in the vertical where an initial temperature distribution corresponding to a typical measured Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass was applied. The existence of YSCWM that causes fluid density difference, is shown to produce counter-rotating cyclonic horizontal eddies in the surface layer: the inner one is anti-cyclonic (clockwise) and relatively weaker (8–10 cm s−1) while the outer one is cyclonic (anti-clockwise) and much stronger (15–20 cm s−1). This result is consistent with the surface pattern observed by Pang et al. (2004), who has shown that a mesoscale anti-cyclonic eddy (clockwise) exists in the upper layer of central southern Yellow Sea, and a basin-scale cyclonic (anticlockwise) gyre lies outside of the anti-cyclonic eddy, based on the trajectories and drifting velocities of 23 drifters. Below the thermocline, there is an anti-cyclonic (clockwise) circulation. This complex current eddy system is considered to be capable of trapping suspended sediments and depositing them near the front between YSCWM and the coastal waters off the Subei coast, providing an explanation on the sediment depth and size distribution of mud patches in the Southern Yellow Sea. Moreover, sensitive test scenarios indicate that variations of bottom friction do not substantially change the main features of the circulation structure, but will reduce the bottom current velocity, increase the surface current velocity and weaken the upwelling around the frontal area.

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