Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 863–871 | Cite as

Upper ocean near-inertial response to the passage of two sequential typhoons in the northwestern South China Sea

  • Yonggui Ma
  • Shuwen ZhangEmail author
  • Yiquan Qi
  • Zhiyou Jing
Research Paper


Fifty-seven days of moored current records are examined, focusing on the sequential passage of Typhoons Nesat and Nalgae separated by 5 days in the northwestern South China Sea. Both typhoons generated strong near-inertial waves (NIW) as detected by a moored array, with the near-inertial velocity to the right of the typhoon path significantly larger than to the left. The estimated vertical phase and group velocities of the NIW induced by Typhoon Nesat are 0.2 cm s−1 and 0.85 m h−1, respectively, corresponding to a vertical wavelength of 350 m. Both the vertical phase and group velocities of the NIW induced by Typhoon Nalgae are lower than those of Typhoon Nesat, with the corresponding vertical wavelength only one-half that of Nesat. The threshold values of induced near-inertial kinetic energy (NIKE) of 5 J m−3 reach water depths of 300 and 200 m for Typhoons Nesat and Nalgae, respectively, illustrating that the NIKE induced by Typhoon Nesat dissipated less with depth. Obvious blueshifts in the induced NIW frequencies are also detected. The frequency of NIW induced by Typhoon Nesat significantly increases at water depths of 100–150 m because of Doppler shifting, but decreases significantly at water depths of 100–150 m for Nalgae because of the greater influence of the background vorticity during the passage of Typhoon Nalgae.


Typhoon Nesat Typhoon Nalgae Near-inertial waves Near-inertial kinetic energy Inertial wave propagation 


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41676008 & 40876005), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFC14001403), and the National Program on Global Change and Air-Sea Interaction (Grant No. GASI-IPOVI-04).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yonggui Ma
    • 1
  • Shuwen Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yiquan Qi
    • 3
  • Zhiyou Jing
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Ocean and MeteorologyGuangdong Ocean UniversityZhanjiangChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Regional Oceanography and Numerical ModelingQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.College of OceanographyHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina

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