Thermal Fronts and Cross-Frontal Heat Flux in the Southern Yellow Sea and the East China Sea
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF OCEANOGRAPHY
Pagination or Media Count:
Synoptic features inaround thermal fronts and cross-frontal heat fluxes in the southern Yellow Sea and East China Sea YES were examined using the data collected from four airborne expendable bathythermograph surveys with horizontal 35 km and vertical 1 m from the surface to 400 m deep spacings. Since the fronts are strongly affected by YES current system, the synoptic thermal features inaround them represent the interaction of currents with surrounding water masses. These features can not be obtained from climatological data even with frontal analysis. The identified thermal features are listed as follows 1 multiple boundaries of cold water, asymmetric thermocline intrusion, locally-split front by homogeneous water of 18 C, and mergence of the front by the Taiwan Warm Current inaround summertime southern Cheju Yangtze Front and Tsushima Front 2 springtime frontal eddy-like feature around Tsushima Front 3 year-round cyclonic meandering and summertime temperature-inversion at the bottom of the surface mixed layer in Cheju-Tsushima Front and 4 multi-structure of Kuroshio Front. In Kuroshio Front the mean variance of vertical temperature gradient is an order of degree smaller than that in other YES fronts. The southern Cheju-Yangtze Front and Cheju-Tsushima Front are connected with each other in the summer with comparable cross-frontal temperature gradient. However, cross-frontal heat flux and lateral eddy diffusivity are stronger in the southern Cheju-Yangtze Front. The cross-frontal heat exchange is the largest in the mixing zone between the modified Yellow Sea Bottom Cold Water and the Tsushima Warm Current, which is attributable to enhanced thermocline intrusions.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography