East Sea spatial and temporal variability of thermohaline structure and circulation identified from observational (t, s) profiles
Chu, Peter C.
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Synoptic monthly varying 3-D gridded temperature and salinity data for the East Sea were established in this study (January 1960 to December 2013). From the gridded data, seasonal and inter-annual variability of thermohaline structure and circulation of the East Sea were analyzed. Found was a low salinity effect caused by the Amur River’s discharge into the Tatar Strait, and a one-month delay after maximum discharge in September. The research discovered another low salinity effect through the Korea Strait in summer by the Changjiang River’s discharge into the East China Sea, which identified with a matching strong inflow in the surface layer of the Korea Strait in an absolute geostrophic velocity distribution. The anticyclonic pattern of the Ulleung Warm Eddy in the intermediate layer and an opposite pattern in the deep layer were noticed. Inter-annual variability by EOF analysis shows that the difference in heat content according to area is more significant in the surface layer, while the freshwater content difference is more significant in the deep layer. By temporal analysis, an increase of heat content in all areas and layers since 1990 and a decrease of the freshwater content in the deep layer since mid-1990s were identified.
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