Deep South China Sea circulation
Huang, Rui Xin
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The analysis of an updated monthly climatology of observed temperature and salinity from the U.S. Navy Generalized Digital Environment Model reveals a basin-scale cyclonic circulation over the deep South China Sea (SCS). The cyclonic circulation lies from about 2400 m to the bottom. The boundary current transport of the cyclonic circulation is around 3.0 Sv. Our results suggest that the cyclonic circulation is mainly forced by the Luzon overflow, with bottom topography playing an important role. The structures of potential temperature, salinity, and potential density in the deep SCS are consistent with the existence of the cyclonic circulation. Specifically, low salinity water is found in the interior region west of Luzon Island, and surrounded by saline Pacific water in boundary current regions to the north, west and southwest. Our results show the potential density distribution and the corresponding cyclonic circulation in deep SCS are primarily controlled by salinity variations in the deep basin.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 38 (2011): L05601, doi:10.1029/2010GL046626.
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