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Gaolong Huang, Haigang Zhan, Qingyou He, Xing Wei, Bo Li. A Lagrangian study of the near-surface intrusion of Pacific water into the South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1766-6
Citation: Gaolong Huang, Haigang Zhan, Qingyou He, Xing Wei, Bo Li. A Lagrangian study of the near-surface intrusion of Pacific water into the South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1766-6

A Lagrangian study of the near-surface intrusion of Pacific water into the South China Sea

doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1766-6
Funds:  The Strategic Priority Program on Space Science, the Chinese Academy of Sciences under contract No. XDA15020901; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 41876205 and 41906026; the Key Special Project for Introduced Talents Team of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou) under contract Nos GML2019ZD0305 and GML2019ZD0302; the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong under contract No. 2018A0303100002; the Project of State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography under contract No. LTOZZ2002; the Open Fund of the Key Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Chinese Academy of Sciences under contract No. KLOCW1905.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: hgzhan@scsio.ac.cn
  • Received Date: 2020-05-15
  • Accepted Date: 2020-11-24
  • Available Online: 2021-06-24
  • Satellite-tracked Lagrangian drifters are used to investigate the transport pathways of near-surface water around the Luzon Strait. Particular attention is paid to the intrusion of Pacific water into the South China Sea. Results from drifter observations suggest that except for the Kuroshio water, other Pacific water that carried by zonal jets, Ekman currents or eddies, can also intrude into the SCS. Motivated by this origin problem of the intrusion water, numerous simulated trajectories are constructed by altimeter-based velocities. Quantitative estimates from simulated trajectories suggest that the contribution of other Pacific water to the total intrusion flux in the Luzon Strait is approximately 13% on average, much smaller than that of Kuroshio water. Even so, over multiple years and many individual intrusion events, the contribution from other Pacific water is quite considerable. The interannual signal in the intrusion flux of these Pacific water might be closely related to variations in a wintertime westward current and eddy activities east of the Luzon Strait. We also found that Ekman drift could significantly contribute to the intrusion of Pacific water and could affect the spreading of intrusion water in the SCS. A case study of an eddy-related intrusion is presented to show the detailed processes of the intrusion of Pacific water and the eddy-Kuroshio interaction.
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