Advances in Earth Science ›› 1998, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (4): 364-368. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.1998.04.0364

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Yang Haijun,Liu Qinyu   

  1. Institute of Physical Oceanography, Ocean University of Qingdao, Qingdao 266003
  • Received:1997-07-04 Revised:1997-10-28 Online:1998-08-01 Published:1998-08-01

Yang Haijun,Liu Qinyu. A SUMMARY ON OCEAN CIRCULATION STUDY OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 1998, 13(4): 364-368.

The South China Sea(SCS) is the largest marginal sea in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. It has a bottom topography that makes it a unique sem-enclosed ocean basin with mean depth about 1800 m and the maximum beyond 5400 m. It covers a region from the equator to 23°N and from 99°E to 121°E with an area being about 3. 5 million square kilometers. More and more researchers focus their studies on the SCS in recently years because of the importance of its geographical location. This paper summarizes the main studies on the ocean circulation of the SCS in latest twenty years in order to get more completely understanding of its each side. The solar radiation, the monsoonal surface wind and the SCS topography can be thought as the main factors influencing the patterns of the SCS circulation, in which the monsoon is the most important factor deciding the formation, maintenance and seasonal variation of the whole SCS circulation. Special attentions should be paid on the following key problems, that is, the monthly or seasonal mean situation of the SCS circulation, the SCS warm current, the local eddies in the SCS, the SCS warm pool, the exchange of the Kuroshio water with the SCS water, the effect of the SCS topography on the circulation and the connection of the SCS upper layer temperature variation with the ENSO and so on. Though there are some difficulties such as short of data and no completely three dimensional numerical model with enough high resolution of the SCS in present research, it is still possible for us to understand the SCS circulation more clearly by further ocean investigation, four-dimensional assimilation on all historical data, diagnostic analysis of physical mechanism with simple conceptual model and numerical experiment considering all sorts of physical processes.

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