Advertisement

A revisit of the interannual variation of the South China Sea upper layer circulation in summer: correlation between the eastward jet and northward branch

  • Tingting Zu
  • Dongxiao WangEmail author
  • Qiang Wang
  • Mingting Li
  • Jun Wei
  • Bingxu Geng
  • Yunkai He
  • Ju Chen
Article
  • 125 Downloads

Abstract

The interannual variation of the South China Sea upper layer circulation in summer is revisited based on analysis of current derived from altimetry data, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers moorings, and numerical simulations. Results show not only the interannual variation of the eastward jet (eastward branch), but also its anti-correlation with the northward branch. On interannual time scale, when the eastward branch is enhanced, the northward branch is weakened, and vice versa. Their variations are largely related to the change of the South China Sea summer monsoon (SCSSM), and are strongly influenced by the Luzon strait Transport (LST). Composite analysis reveals a stronger SCSSM and LST into the SCS in the developing phase of El Niño would lead to an eastward branch dominant circulation pattern, whereas a weaker SCSSM and reduced LST into the SCS in the decaying phase of El Niño favors a northward branch dominant circulation pattern. The distinct composite patterns appear in El Niño and Southern Oscillation cycles, rather than episodic event or multiyear El Niño or La Niña. Contribution of the transport of major straits in the SCS to the interannual variation of the SCS summer circulation is quantitatively evaluated for the first time, and the results show that the change of the planetary vorticity flux through three major straits (Luzon strait contributes most) is as equally important as the vorticity input change from local wind stress curl.

Keywords

Interannual variability South China Sea South China Sea summer monsoon Luzon strait transport ENSO 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments and suggestions. We thank Gengxin Chen for his helpful discussion. We also thank the Advanced Taiwan Ocean Prediction model group (http://mpipom.ihs.ncu.edu.tw) to provide codes for the model simulations used in this study. We benefited from numerous data sets made freely available, including AVISO (http://www.aviso.altimetry.fr/en/data/data-access.html), CCMP (http://www.remss.com/measurements/ccmp/). HYCOM GLBu0.08 (http://www.hycom.org/dataserver/gofs-3pt0/reanalysis). This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under Project (41521005, 41731173, 41576002, 41776026, 41576003), by No. GML2019ZD0304 from Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou), and by the research fund from the State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography (LTOZZ1803). Qiang Wang is also sponsored by the Pearl River S&T Nova Program of Guangzhou (201906010051).

Supplementary material

382_2019_5007_MOESM1_ESM.docx (4.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 4520 kb)

References

  1. Atlas R et al (2011) A cross-calibrated, multiplatform ocean surface wind velocity product for meteorological and oceanographic applications. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 92:157–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cai S, Su J, Gan Z, Liu Q (2002) The numerical study of the South China Sea upper circulation characteristics and its dynamic mechanism, in winter. Cont Shelf Res 22:2247–2264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cai S, Long X, Wang S (2007) A model study of the summer Southeast Vietnam Offshore Current in the southern South China Sea. Cont Shelf Res 27:2357–2372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen C, Wang G (2014) Interannual variability of the eastward current in the western South China Sea associated with the summer Asian monsoon. J Geophys Res.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2014JC010309 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen G, Xue H (2014) Westward intensification in marginal seas. Ocean Dyn 64:337–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen G, Hou Y, Zhang Q, Chu X (2010) The eddy pair off eastern Vietnam: interannual variability and impact on thermohaline structure. Cont Shelf Res 30:715–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen C, Lai Z, Beardsley RC, Xu Q, Lin H, Viet NT (2012) Current separation and upwelling over the southeast shelf of Vietnam in the South China Sea. J Geophys Res 117:C03033.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2011JC007150 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen G, Xiu P, Chai F (2014) Physical and biological controls on the summer chlorophyll bloom to the east of Vietnam. J Oceanogr 70:323–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chern C-S, Wang J (2003) Numerical study of the upper-layer circulation in the South China Sea. J Oceanogr 59:11–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chu PC, Edmons NL, Fan C et al (1999) Dynamical mechanisms for the South China Sea seasonal circulation and thermohaline variabilities. J Physic Oceanogr 29(11):2971–2989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chu X, Dong C, Qi Y (2017) The influence of ENSO on an oceanic eddy pair in the South China Sea. J Geophys Res 122:1643–1652.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JC012642 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Da Nguyen Dac (2018) The interannual variability of the South Vietnam Upwelling: contributions of atmospheric, oceanic, hydrologic forcing and the ocean intrinsic variability. Ocean, Atmosphere. Université Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier (UT3 Paul Sabatier), 2018. English. < tel-01849114>Google Scholar
  13. Dippner JW, Bombar D, Loick-Wilde N, Voss M, Subramaniam A (2013) Comment on ‘‘Current separation and upwelling over the southeast shelf of Vietnam in the South China Sea’’ by Chen et al. J Geophys Res 118:1618–1623.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jgrc.20118 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fan Y, Fan K, Xu Z, Li S (2018) ENSO–South China Sea summer monsoon interaction modulated by the atlantic multidecadal oscillation. J Clim 31:3061–3076Google Scholar
  15. Fang G, Fang W, Fang Y, Wang K (1998) A survey of studies on the South China Sea upper ocean circulation. Acta Oceanogr Taiwanica 37(1):1–16Google Scholar
  16. Fang WD, Fang GH, Shi P, Huang QZ, Xie Q (2002) Seasonal structures of upper layer circulation in the southern South China Sea from in situ observations. J Geophys Res 107(C11):3202.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2002JC001343 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fang W, Qiu F, Guo P (2014) Summer circulation variability in the South China Sea during 2006–2010. J Mar Syst 137:47–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gan J, Qu T (2008) Coastal jet separation and associated flow variability in the southwest South China Sea. Deep-Sea Res I 55:1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gan J, Li H, Curchitser EN, Haidvogel DB (2006) Modeling South China Sea circulation: response to seasonal forcing regimes. J Geophys Res 111:C06034.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2005jc003298 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gan J, Liu Z, Hui C (2016) A three-layer alternating spinning circulation in the South China Sea. J Phys Oceanogr 46:2309–2315.  https://doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-16-0044.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hu J, Kawamura H, Hong H, Qi Y (2000) A review on the currents in the South China Sea: seasonal circulation South China Sea Warm Current and Kuroshio intrusion. J Oceanogr 56:607–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kuo NJ, Zheng Q, Ho CR (2000) Satellite observation of upwelling along the western coast of the South China Sea. Remote Sens Environ 74:463–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li JP, Zeng QC (2002) A unified monsoon index. Geophys Res Lett 29(8):1274.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2001GL013874 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li Y, Han W, Wilkin JL, Zhang WG, Arango H, Zavala-Garay J, Levin J, Castruccio FS (2014) Interannual variability of the surface summertime eastward jet in the South China Sea. J Geophys Res 119:7205–7228.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2014JC010206 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Li M, Wei J, Wang D, Gordon AL, Yang S, Malanotte-Rizzoli P, Jiang G (2019) Exploring the importance of the Mindoro-Sibutu pathway on the upper layer circulation of the South China Sea and the Indonesian throughflow. J Geophys Res 124:5054–5066.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JC014910
  26. Liu Z, Yang HJ, Liu QY (2001) Regional dynamics of seasonal variability of sea surface height in the South China Sea. J Phys Oceanogr 31(1):272–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Liu QY, Kaneko A, Su JL (2008) Recent progress in studies of the South China Sea circulation. J Oceanogr 64(5):753–762.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10872-008-0063-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Liu X, Wang J, Cheng X, Du Y (2012) Abnormal upwelling and chlorophyll-a concentration off South Vietnam in summer 2007. J Geophys Res 117:C07021.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2012JC008052 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Marshall DP, Tansley CE (2001) An implicit formula for boundary current separation. J Phys Oceanogr 31:1633–1638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Metzger EJ, Hurlburt HE (1996) Coupled dynamics of the South China Sea, the Sulu Sea and the Pacific Ocean. J Geophys Res 101:12331–12352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Oey LY, Chang YL, Lin YC, Chang MC, Xu F, Lu HF (2013) ATOP—advanced Taiwan ocean prediction system based on the mpiPOM: Part 1: model descriptions, analyses and results. Terr Atmos Ocean Sci 24(1):137–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Qu T, Kim YY, Yaremchuk M, Tozuka T, Ishida A, Yamagata T (2004) Can Luzon strait transport play a role in conveying the impact of ENSO to the South China Sea? J Clim 17:3644–3657CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Quan Q, Xue H (2018) Layered model and insights into the vertical coupling of the South China Sea circulation in the upper and middle layers. Ocean Model 129:75–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Quan Q, Xue H, Qin H, Zeng X, Peng S (2016) Features and variability of the South China Sea western boundary current from 1992 to 2011. Ocean Dyn 66:795–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shaw P-T, Chao S-Y (1994) Surface circulation in the South China Sea. Deep-Sea Res I 4(1):1663–1683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Shu Y, Xue H, Wang D, Xie Q, Chen J, Li J, Chen R, He Y, Li D (2016) Observed evidence of the anomalous South China Sea western boundary current during the summers of 2010 and 2011. J Geophys Res 121:1145–1159.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2015JC011434 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tang DL, Kawamura H, Doan-Nhu H, Takahashi W (2004) Remote sensing oceanography of a harmful algal bloom off the coast of southeastern Vietnam. J Geophys Res 109:C03014.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2003JC002045 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang G, Su J, Chu PC (2003) Mesoscale eddies in the South China Sea observed with altimeter data. Geophys Res Lett 30(21):2121.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2003GL018532 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang C, Wang W, Wang D, Wang Q (2006a) Interannual variability of the South China Sea associated with El Nino. J Geophys Res 111:C03023.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2005JC003333 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wang D, Liu Q, Huang RX, Du Y, Qu T (2006b) Interannual variability of the South China Sea throughflow inferred from wind data and an ocean data assimilation product. Geophys Res Lett 33:L14605.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2006GL026316 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wang G, Chen D, Su J (2006c) Generation and life cycle of the dipole in the South China Sea summer circulation. J Geophys Res 111:C06002.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2005JC003314 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wang D, Xu H, Lin J, Hu J (2008) Anticyclonic eddies in the northeastern South China Sea during winter 2003/2004. J Oceanogr 64:925–935.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10872-008-0076-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wang B, Huang F, Wu Z, Yang J, Fu X, Kikuchi K (2009) Multi-scale climate variability of the South China Sea monsoon: a review. Dyn Atmos Oceans 47:15–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wang G, Wang C, Huang RX (2010) Interdecadal variability of the eastward current in the South China Sea associated with the summer Asian monsoon. J Clim 23:6115–6123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wei J, Malanotte-Rizzoli P, Li M, Wang D (2016) Opposite variability of Indonesian throughflow and South China Sea throughflow in the Sulawesi Sea. J Phys Oceanogr.  https://doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-16-0132.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wu CR, Shaw PT, Chao SY (1998) Seasonal and interannual variations in the velocity field of the South China Sea. J Oceanogr 54:361–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wyrtki K (1961) Scientific results of marine investigations of the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand 1959–1961. Naga Report, vol 2, University of California at San Diego, pp 164–169Google Scholar
  48. Xie SP, Xie Q, Wang D, Liu WT (2003) Summer upwelling in the South China Sea and its role in regional climate variations. J Geophys Res 108(C8):3261.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2003JC001867 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Xie SP, Chang CH, Xie Q, Wang D (2007) Intraseasonal variability in the summer South China Sea: wind jet, cold filament, and recirculations. J Geophys Res 112:C10008.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2007JC004238 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Xu FH, Oey LY (2014) State analysis using the local ensemble transform Kalman filter (LETKF) and the three-layer circulation structure of the Luzon Strait and the South China Sea. Ocean Dyn 64(6):905–923CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Xu H, Xie SP, Wang Y, Zhuang W, Wang D (2008) Orographic effects on South China Sea summer climate. Meteorol Atmos Phys 100:275–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Xue H, Chai F, Pettigrew N, Xu D, Shi M, Xu J (2004) Kuroshio intrusion and the circulation in the South China Sea. J Geophys Res.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2002jc001724 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Yang H, Liu Q, Liu Z, Wang D, Liu X (2002) A general circulation model study of the dynamics of the upper ocean circulation of the South China Sea. J Geophys Res 107(C7):3085CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yang H, Wu L, Shantong S, Zhaohui C (2015) Low-frequency variability of monsoon-driven circulation with application to the south China sea. J Phys Oceanogr 45(6):1632-1650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yu JY, Fang SW (2018) The distinct contributions of the seasonal footprinting and charged-discharged mechanisms to ENSO complexity. Geophys Res Lett.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL077664 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yu K, Qu T (2013) Imprint of the pacific decadal oscillation on the South China Sea throughflow variability. J Clim 26:9797–9805.  https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00785.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zeng L, Wang D, Chen J, Wang W, Chen R (2016) SCSPOD14, a South China Sea physical oceanographic dataset derived from in situ measurements during 1919–2014. Sci Data 3:160029.  https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.29 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zhou W, Chan CL (2007) ENSO and the South China Sea summer monsoon onset. Int J Climatol 27:157–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zhu Y, Sun J, Wang Y, Wei Z, Yang D, Qu T (2017) Effect of potential vorticity flux on the circulation in the South China Sea. J Geophys Res.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JC012375 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zu T, Xue H, Wang D, Geng B, Zeng L, Liu Q, Chen J, He Y (2019) Interannual variation of the South China Sea circulation during winter: intensified in the southern basin. Clim Dyn 52:1917–1933CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guangzhou BranchSouthern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou)GuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Atmospheric SciencesSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations