Volume 42 Issue 10
Oct.  2023
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Wei Yang, Ruixiang Li, Yanqing Feng, Huijie Xue. Cross-shelf variation of internal tides west of the Dongsha Plateau in the northern South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2023, 42(10): 23-35. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2251-1
Citation: Wei Yang, Ruixiang Li, Yanqing Feng, Huijie Xue. Cross-shelf variation of internal tides west of the Dongsha Plateau in the northern South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2023, 42(10): 23-35. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2251-1

Cross-shelf variation of internal tides west of the Dongsha Plateau in the northern South China Sea

doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2251-1
Funds:  The Key-Area Research and Development Project of Guangdong Province under contract No. 2020B1111020003; the Science and Technology Plan Projects of Guangdong Province under contract No. 2021B1212050025; the Science and Technology Development Fund of the South China Sea Bureau, Ministry of Natural Resources under contract No. 202205.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: hjxue@xmu.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2023-02-27
  • Accepted Date: 2023-05-12
  • Available Online: 2023-12-01
  • Publish Date: 2023-10-01
  • We examine the cross-shelf variation of internal tides (ITs) west of the Dongsha Plateau in the northern South China Sea based on observations from 4 moorings deployed between August 2017 and September 2018. On the slope, the amplitude of diurnal baroclinic current ellipses are 5 times larger than that of barotropic currents. The baroclinic energy quickly dissipates during cross-shelf propagation, and barotropic currents become dominant on the shelf outside of the Zhujiang River Estuary, with the amplitude of semidiurnal barotropic current ellipses being 10 times larger than that of the baroclinic ones. Dynamic modal decomposition indicates the first baroclinic mode is dominant for both diurnal and semidiurnal ITs. The total horizontal kinetic energy (HKE) of the first three baroclinic modes shows spatiotemporal differences among the 4 moorings. On the slope, the HKE for diurnal ITs is stronger in summer and winter, but weaker in spring and autumn; for semidiurnal ITs there is a similar seasonal variation, but the HKE in winter is even stronger than that in summer. On the shallow shelf, both diurnal and semidiurnal ITs maintain a certain intensity in summer but almost disappear in winter. Further analysis shows that only the upper water column is affected by seasonal variation of stratification on the slope, variation of diurnal ITs is thus controlled by the semi-annual cycle of barotropic energy input from the Luzon Strait, while the incoherent baroclinic currents make a major contribution to the temporal variation of semidiurnal ITs. For the shelf region, the water column is well mixed in winter, and the baroclinic energy largely dissipates when ITs propagate to the shelf zone despite of a strong barotropic energy input from the Luzon Strait .
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