2020 Vol. 39, No. 1

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Physical Oceanography, Marine Meteorology and Marine Physics
Progress in research of submesoscale processes in the South China Sea
Quanan Zheng, Lingling Xie, Xuejun Xiong, Xiaomin Hu, Liang Chen
2020, 39(1): 1-13. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1521-4
This paper overviews research progress in observation, theoretical analysis and numerical modeling of submesoscale dynamic processes in the South China Sea (SCS) particularly during recent five years. The submesoscale processes are defined according to both spatial and dynamic scales, and divided into four subcategories as submesoscale waves, submesoscale vortexes, submesoscale shelf processes, and submesoscale turbulence. The major new findings are as follows. (1) Systematic mooring observations provide new insights into the solitary waves (ISWs) and the typhoon-forced near-inertial waves (NIWs), of which a new type of ISWs with period of 23 h was observed in the northern SCS (NSCS), and the influences of background vorticity, summer monsoon onset, and deep meridional overturning circulation on the NIWs, as well as nonlinear wave-wave interaction between the NIWs and internal tides, are better understood. On the other hand, satellite altimeter sea surface height data are used to reveal the internal tide radiation patterns and provide solid evidence for that the ISWs in the northeastern SCS originate from the Luzon Strait. (2) Submesoscale offshore jets and associated vortex trains off the Vietnam coast in the western boundary of the SCS were observed from satellite chlorophyll concentration images. Spiral trains with the horizontal scale of 15–30 km and the spacing of 50–80 km were identified.(3) 3-D vertical circulation in the upwelling region east of Hainan Island was theoretically analyzed. The results show that distribution patterns of all the dynamic terms are featured by wave-like structures with horizontal wavelength scale of 20–40 km. (4) Numerical models have been used for the research of submesoscale turbulence. Submesoscale vertical pump of an anticyclonic eddy and the spatiotemporal features of submesoscale processes in the northeastern SCS are well modeled.
Principal-component estimates of the Kuroshio Current axis and path based on the mathematical verification between satellite altimeter and drifting buoy data
Zhanpeng Zhuang, Zhenli Hui, Guangbing Yang, Xinhua Zhao, Yeli Yuan
2020, 39(1): 14-24. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1523-2
We used satellite altimetry data to investigate the Kuroshio Current because of the higher resolution and wider range of observations. In previous studies, satellite absolute geostrophic velocities were used to study the spatio-temporal variability of the sea surface velocity field along the current, and extraction methods were employed to detect the Kuroshio axes and paths. However, sea surface absolute geostrophic velocity estimated from absolute dynamic topography should be regarded as the geostrophic component of the actual surface velocity, which cannot represent a sea surface current accurately. In this study, mathematical verification between the climatic absolute geostrophic and bin-averaged drifting buoy velocity was established and then adopted to correct the satellite absolute geostrophic velocities. There were some differences in the characteristics between satellite geostrophic and drifting buoy velocities. As a result, the corrected satellite absolute geostrophic velocities were used to detect the Kuroshio axis and path based on a principal-component detection scheme. The results showed that the detection of the Kuroshio axes and paths from corrected absolute geostrophic velocities performed better than those from satellite absolute geostrophic velocities and surface current estimations. The corrected satellite absolute geostrophic velocity may therefore contribute to more precise day-to-day detection of the Kuroshio Current axis and path.
Effects of wave-current interaction on the waves, cold-water mass and transport of diluted water in the Beibu Gulf
Jingling Yang, Shaocai Jiang, Junshan Wu, Lingling Xie, Shuwen Zhang, Peng Bai
2020, 39(1): 25-40. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1529-9
Wave-current interaction and its effects on the hydrodynamic environment in the Beibu Gulf (BG) have been investigated via employing the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere–Wave–Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system. The model could simulate reasonable hydrodynamics in the BG when validated by various observations. Vigorous tidal currents refract the waves efficiently and make the seas off the west coast of Hainan Island be the hot spot where currents modulate the significant wave height dramatically. During summer, wave-enhanced bottom stress could weaken the near-shore component of the gulf-scale cyclonic-circulation in the BG remarkably, inducing two major corresponding adjustments: Model results reveal that the deep-layer cold water from the southern BG makes critical contribution to maintaining the cold-water mass in the northern BG Basin. However, the weakened background circulation leads to less cold water transported from the southern gulf to the northern gulf, which finally triggers a 0.2°C warming in the cold-water mass area; In the top areas of the BG, the suppressed background circulation reduces the transport of the diluted water to the central gulf. Therefore, more freshwater could be trapped locally, which then triggers lower sea surface salinity (SSS) in the near-field and higher SSS in the far-field.
Identification and census statistics of multicore eddies based on sea surface height data in global oceans
Wei Cui, Wei Wang, Jie Zhang, Jungang Yang
2020, 39(1): 41-51. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1519-y
This study produced a statistical analysis of multicore eddy structures based on 23 years' altimetry data in global oceans. Multicore structures were identified using a threshold-free closed-contour algorithm of sea surface height, which was improved for this study in respect of certain technical details. Meanwhile a more accurate definition of eddy boundary was used to estimate eddy scale. Generally, multicore structures, which have two or more closed eddies of the same polarity within their boundaries, represent an important transitional stage in their lives during which the component eddies might experience splitting or merging. In comparison with global eddies, the lifetimes and propagation distances of multicore eddies were found to be much smaller because of their inherent structural instability. However, at the same latitude, the spatial scale of multicore eddies was found larger than that of single-core eddies, i.e., the eddy area could be at least twice as large. Multicore eddies were found to exhibit some features similar to global eddies. For example, multicore eddies tend to occur in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, some western boundary currents, and mid-latitude regions around 25°N/S, the majority (70%) of eddies propagate westward while only 30% propagate eastward, and large-amplitude eddies are restricted mainly to reasonably confined regions of highly unstable currents.
The impact of oceanic processes on the transient climate response: a tidal forcing experiment
Yi Yu, Hailong Liu, Pengfei Lin, Jian Lan
2020, 39(1): 52-62. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1466-0
In this study, the impact of oceanic processes on the sensitivity of transient climate change is investigated using two sets of coupled experiments with and without tidal forcing, which are termed Exp_Tide and Exp_Control, respectively. After introducing tidal forcing, the transient climate response (TCR) decreases from 2.32 K to 1.90 K, and the surface air temperature warming at high latitudes decreases by 29%. Large ocean heat uptake efficiency and heat storage can explain the low TCR in Exp_Tide. Approximately 21% more heat is stored in the ocean in Exp_Tide (1.10×1024J) than in Exp_Control (0.91×1024J). Most of the large ocean warming occurs in the upper 1 000 m between 60°S and 60°N, primarily in the Atlantic and Southern Oceans. This ocean warming is closely related to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The initial transport at mid- and high latitudes and the decline in the AMOC observed in Exp_Tide are both larger than those observed in Exp_Control. The spatial structures of AMOC are also different with and without tidal forcing in present experiments. The AMOC in Exp_Tide has a large northward extension. We also investigated the relationship between AMOC and TCR suggested by previous studies using the present experiments.
Seasonal linkage of the Southern Hemisphere extratropical climate variability to two types of ENSO
Zhongpeng Wang, Zhaoru Zhang, Meng Zhou, Hailong Liu, Yisen Zhong, Xiaoqiao Wang
2020, 39(1): 63-73. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1528-x
This study uses the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) to investigate the responses of the Southern Hemisphere (SH) extratropical climate to two types of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)—the eastern Pacific (EP) type and the central Pacific (CP) type in different seasons. The responses are denoted by the anomalies of climate variables associated with one-standard-deviation increase in the Niño3 or Niño4 index. The results show that in austral spring the differences in the ENSO-related anomaly (ERA) patterns of atmospheric circulation between the EP ENSO period (1979–1998) and CP ENSO period (1999–2010) are mainly associated with the change in the ENSO-PSA2 relationship. Such differences affect the ERA fields of surface air temperature and mixed layer temperature, and finally result in significant differences in sea-ice concentration anomalies in the Atlantic sector. In austral summer, significant correlation exists between the variations of SAM and both of the variations of Niño3 and Niño4 in 1979–1998, while the correlation between SAM and Niño4 disappears in 1999–2010. For all seasons, the strength of the climate ERAs depend on if there are close relationship between ENSO and the major climate variation modes of the SH extratropics. For the climate variables, the ERA patterns of surface air temperature are generally controlled by surface wind anomalies and mirrored by the mixed layer temperature anomalies. The mixed layer depth anomalies are primarily modulated by surface heat flux anomalies and occasionally by anomalous wind. There are strikingly strong anomalies of surface heat flux in the autumn of 1979–1998 related to the Niño3 variation, the period when there is only significant correlation between ENSO and PSA2. There are no evidence that the SH extratropical climate variability induced by Niño3 variations are stronger in the EP-ENSO period, and that variability induced by Niño4 variations are stronger in the CP-ENSO period.
Hazard analysis of tsunami disaster on the Maritime Silk Road
Jingming Hou, Xiaojuan Li, Peitao Wang, Juncheng Wang, Zhiyuan Ren
2020, 39(1): 74-82. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1526-z
The Maritime Silk Road is not only a passageway for business and trade, but also the road of friendship between eastern and western civilizations. The Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 caused major damage to several coastal countries. Tsunami occurrence regularity and hazard analysis are needed to ensure economic and cultural exchange on the Maritime Silk Road. To explore and identify tsunami hazard on the Maritime Silk Road, the spatial and temporal characteristics of historical tsunami events were given out. Some useful information hidden in historical tsunamis was searched from source parameters, such as seismic magnitude, focal depth and water depth. The tsunami possibility in the case of earthquake occurrence was also studied, exploring the probability of tsunami caused by different magnitudes. The analysis result shows that tsunamis on the Maritime Silk Road mainly occurred in 8 major tectonic faults, each of which has different tsunami occurrence regularity. On the basis of statistical analysis, a numerical model was used to simulate the potential tsunamis and show the tsunami hazard levels along the coast of Maritime Silk Road. The research results of this paper can help the tsunami early warning and ensure the safety of economic and cultural exchanges on the Maritime Silk Road.
Evaluation on monthly sea surface wind speed of four reanalysis data sets over the China seas after 1988
Guosong Wang, Xidong Wang, Hui Wang, Min Hou, Yan Li, Wenjing Fan, Yulong Liu
2020, 39(1): 83-90. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1525-0
This study investigates the long-term changes of monthly sea surface wind speeds over the China seas from 1988 to 2015. The 10-meter wind speeds products from four major global reanalysis datasets with high resolution are used: Cross-Calibrated Multi-Platform data set (CCMP), NCEP climate forecast system reanalysis data set (CFSR), ERA-interim reanalysis data set (ERA-int) and Japanese 55-year reanalysis data set (JRA55). The monthly sea surface wind speeds of four major reanalysis data sets have been investigated through comparisons with the long-term and homogeneous observation wind speeds data recorded at ten stations. The results reveal that (1) the wind speeds bias of CCMP, CFSR, ERA-int and JRA55 are 0.91 m/s, 1.22 m/s, 0.62 m/s and 0.22 m/s, respectively. The wind speeds RMSE of CCMP, CFSR, ERA-int and JRA55 are 1.38 m/s, 1.59 m/s, 1.01 m/s and 0.96 m/s, respectively; (2) JRA55 and ERA-int provides a realistic representation of monthly wind speeds, while CCMP and CFSR tend to overestimate observed wind speeds. And all the four data sets tend to underestimate observed wind speeds in Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea; (3) Comparing the annual wind speeds trends between observation and the four data sets at ten stations for 1988-1997, 1988–2007 and 1988–2015, the result show that ERA-int is superior to represent homogeneity monthly wind speeds over the China seaes.
Validation of MODIS ocean-colour products in the coastal waters of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea
Lingling Jiang, Xiangyu Guo, Lin Wang, Shubha Sathyendranath, Hayley Evers-King, Yanlong Chen, Bingnan Li
2020, 39(1): 91-101. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1522-3
An extensive study collected in situ data along the Yellow Sea (YS) and East China Sea (ECS) to assess the radiometric properties and the concentration of the water constituents derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Thirteen high quality match-ups were obtained for evaluating the MODIS estimates of Rrs(λ), chlorophyll a (Chl a) and concentrations of suspended particulate sediment matter (SPM). For MODIS Rrs(λ), the mean absolute percentage difference (APD) was in the range of 20%–36%, and the highest uncertainty appeared at 412 nm, whereas the band ratio of Rrs(λ) at 488 nm compared with that at 547 nm was highly consistent, with an APD of 7%. A combination of near-infrared bands and shortwave infrared wavelengths atmosphere correction algorithm (NIR-SWIR algorithm) was applied to the MODIS data, and the estimation accuracy of Rrs were improved at most of the visible spectral bands except 645 nm, 667 nm and 678 nm. Two ocean-colour empirical algorithms for Chl a estimation were applied to the processed data, the results indicated that the accuracy of the derived Chl a values was obviously improved, the four-band algorithms outperformed the other algorithm for measured and simulated datasets, and the minimum APD was 35%. The SPM was also quantified. Two regional and two coastal SPM algorithms were modified according to the in situ data. By comparison, the modified Tassan model had a higher accuracy for the application along the YS and ECS with an APD of 21%. However, given the limited match-up dataset and the potential influence of the aerosol properties on atmosphere correction, further research is required to develop additional algorithms especially for the low Chl a coastal water.
Wintertime Guangdong coastal currents successfully captured by cheap GPS drifters
Hongyang Lin, Zhenyu Sun, Zhaozhang Chen, Jia Zhu, Jianyu Hu
2020, 39(1): 166-170. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1425-3
This study introduces a type of self-developed, GPS-based, simple and cheap Surface Current Experiment (SUCE) drifters designated for observing surface coastal currents. By examining trajectories of six drifters deployed in the Daya Bay and the drifter-derived velocities, we conclude that such drifters are generally capable of capturing the characteristics of wintertime surface coastal currents along the Guangdong coast.
Marine Chemistry
Assessing temporal variation of coloured dissolved organic matter in the coastal waters of South Eastern Arabian Sea
P Minu, V P Souda, S K Baliarsingh, R M Dwivedi, Y Ali, P M Ashraf
2020, 39(1): 102-109. doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1534-z
Coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) plays a major role in marine photochemical and biological processes and its optical properties are known to affect the underwater light penetration. This paper highlights in situ optical estimation and satellite retrieval of CDOM in deciphering its temporal variations in coastal waters of the South Eastern Arabian Sea. The study accentuated the source of CDOM as terrigenous origin during monsoon, of in situ productions during pre-monsoon and during post-monsoon of autochthonous-allocthonous origin. The matchup analysis for in situ and MODIS Aqua retrieved Adg443 exhibited bias which decreased by incorporating the seasonal component. The study also identified degrading bloom of Noctiluca scintillans as the source for exceptionally high CDOM in the area during January and February. The study demands to incorporate seasonal components and phytoplankton abundance while assessing the performance of CDOM algorithms in optically complex coastal waters.
Marine Geology
El Niño/Southern Oscillation during the 4.2 ka event recorded by growth rates of corals from the North South China Sea
Shaohua Dang, Kefu Yu, Shichen Tao, Tao Han, Huiling Zhang, Wei Jiang
2020, 39(1): 110-117. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1520-5
The 4.2 ka event that occurred during the period from 4 500–3 900 a BP was characterized by cold and dry climates and resulted in the collapse of civilizations around the world. The cause of this climatic event, however, has been under debate. We collected four corals (Porites lutea) from Yongxing Island, Xisha Islands, South China Sea, dated them with the U-series method, and measured the annual coral growth rates using X-ray technology. The dating results showed that the coral growth ages were from 4 500–3 900 a BP, which coincide well with the period of the 4.2 ka event. We then reconstructed annual sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) variations based on the coral growth rates. The growth rate-based SSTA results showed that the interdecadal SSTA from 4 500–3 900 a BP was lower than that during modern times (1961–2008 AD). A spectral analysis showed that the SSTA variations from 4 500–3 900 a BP were under the influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) activities. From 4 500–4 100 a BP, the climate exhibited La Niña-like conditions with weak ENSO intensity and relatively stable and lower SSTA amplitudes. From 4 100–3 900 a BP, the climate underwent a complicated period of ENSO variability and showed alternating El Niño- or La Niña-like conditions at interdecadal time scales and large SSTA amplitudes. We speculate that during the early and middle stages of the 4.2 ka event, the cold climate caused by weak ENSO activities largely weakened social productivity. Then, during the end stages of the 4.2 ka event, the repeated fluctuations in the ENSO intensity caused frequent extreme weather events, resulting in the collapse of civilizations worldwide. Thus, the new evidence obtained from our coral records suggests that the 4.2 ka event as well as the related collapse of civilizations were very likely driven by ENSO variability.
Large along-axis variations in magma supply and tectonism of the Southeast Indian Ridge near the Australian-Antarctic Discordance
Shoujin Liu, Jian Lin, Zhiyuan Zhou, Fan Zhang
2020, 39(1): 118-129. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1518-z
We analyzed seafloor morphology and geophysical anomalies of the Southeast Indian Ridge (SEIR) to reveal the remarkable changes in magma supply along this intermediate fast-spreading ridge. We found systematic differences of the Australian-Antarctic Discordance (AAD) from adjacent ridge segments with the residual mantle Bouguer gravity anomaly (RMBA) being more positive, seafloor being deeper, morphology being more chaotic, M factors being smaller at the AAD. These systematic anomalies, as well as the observed Na8.0 being greater and Fe8.0 being smaller at AAD, suggest relatively starved magma supply and relatively thin crust within the AAD. Comparing to the adjacent ridges segments, the calculated average map-view M factors are relatively small for the AAD, where several Oceanic Core Complexes (OCCs) develop. Close to 30 OCCs were found to be distributed asymmetrically along the SEIR with 60% of OCCs at the northern flank. The OCCs are concentrated mainly in Segments B3 and B4 within the AAD at ~124°–126°E, as well as at the eastern end of Zone C at ~115°E. The relatively small map-view M factors within the AAD indicate stronger tectonism than the adjacent SEIR segments. The interaction between the westward migrating Pacific mantle and the relatively cold mantle beneath the AAD may have caused a reduction in magma supply, leading to the development of abundant OCCs.
Ocean Engineering
Numerical investigation on tsunami wave mitigation on forest sloping beach
Mingliang Zhang, Yongpeng Ji, Yini Wang, Hongxing Zhang, Tianping Xu
2020, 39(1): 130-140. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1527-y
An explicit one-dimensional model based on the shallow water equations (SWEs) was established in this work to simulate tsunami wave propagation on a vegetated beach. This model adopted the finite-volume method (FVM) for maintaining the mass balance of these equations. The resistance force caused by vegetation was taken into account as a source term in the momentum equation. The Harten–Lax–van Leer (HLL) approximate Riemann solver was applied to evaluate the interface fluxes for tracing the wet/dry transition boundary. This proposed model was used to simulate solitary wave run-up and long-periodic wave propagation on a sloping beach. The calibration process suitably compared the calculated results with the measured data. The tsunami waves were also simulated to discuss the water depth, tsunami force, as well as the current speed in absence of and in presence of forest domain. The results indicated that forest growth at the beach reduced wave energy loss caused by tsunamis. A series of sensitivity analyses were conducted with respect to variable parameters (such as vegetation densities, wave heights, wave periods, bed resistance, and beach slopes) to identify important influences on mitigating tsunami damage on coastal forest beach.
Marine Technology
A simple method of depressing numerical dissipation effects during wave simulation within the Euler model
Zhe Hu, Xiaoying Zhang, Weicheng Cui, Fang Wang, Xiaowen Li, Yan Li
2020, 39(1): 141-156. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1524-1
Numerical wave tanks are widely-acknowledged tools in studying waves and wave-structure interactions. They can generate waves under realistic scales and offers more information on the fluid field. However, most numerical wave tanks suffer from issues known as the numerical dissipation and numerical dispersion. The former causes wave energy to be slowly dissipated and the latter shifts wave frequencies during wave propagation. This paper proposes a simple method of depressing numerical dissipation effects on the basis of solving Euler equations using the finite difference method (FDM). The wave propagation solutions are solved analytically taking into account the influence of the damping terms. The main idea of the method is to append a source term to the momentum equation, whose strength is determined by how strong the numerical damping effect is. The method is verified by successfully depressing numerical effects during the simulation of regular linear waves, Stokes waves and irregular waves. By applying the method, wave energy is able to be close to its initial value after long distance of travel.
Marine Information Science
Mediterranean Sea level trends from long-period tide gauge time series
Haddad Mahdi, Taibi Hebib
2020, 39(1): 157-165. doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1532-1
The main purpose of this study is to highlight, on the basis of statistical tests, the significant long-term changes of the Mediterranean Sea level, through the analysis of historical tide gauge records. In this framework, 14 tide gauge monthly series selected from the Permanent Service of the Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) database were used. The search for the presence or not of trends within these series, that have a temporal coverage from 59 to 142 years, was carried out using the Mann-Kendall test and the Sen’s slope estimator. The obtained results show that the Split Rt Marjana series are the only ones which does not exhibit a significant trend. The other 13 series show significant increasing trends. This result seems sufficient to suppose the presence, in the past century, of a new climatic phase on the scale of the Mediterranean basin, where the rising sea level is one of the consequences.