Source water of two-pronged northward flow in the southern Taiwan Strait in summer

Journal of Oceanography (Impact Factor: 1.27). 07/2011; 67(4):385-393. DOI: 10.1007/s10872-011-0036-1


It is generally accepted that the flow is northward in the Taiwan Strait during summer and that the strongest current is detected in the Penghu Channel between the Penghu Islands and the Taiwan Island. This current, the eastern prong flow, is made up of waters from the South China Sea (SCS) and the Kuroshio. North of the Penghu Islands, the current veers to the west before turning northward again because of the shallow Chang-Yuen Ridge, and extends westward off the coast of Taiwan. There is a second prong of northward flow existing between the Taiwan Bank and the China mainland coast. Here, we show with observational data as well as results from a numerical model that this water receives little influence from the Kuroshio and is distinctively cooler, fresher, less oxygenated and more acidic, and contains more dissolved inorganic carbon than waters at the same density level of the eastern prong. Evidence is provided to show that the source water of the western prong should be the subsurface water from the strong upslope advection flowing northward from the SCS to the southern Taiwan Strait and upwelling along the coast during the favorable southwesterly wind. Subsequently, the upwelled water flows over the saddle west of the Taiwan Bank and joins the main flow northwest of the Penghu Islands.

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Available from: Chen-Tung Arthur Chen
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    • "There are four papers related to the current, upwelling, or water mass in the Taiwan Strait and in the Beibu Gulf. Hong et al. (2011) analyze the observational data and numerical model results and confirm the two-pronged northward flow in the southern Taiwan Strait in summer. Qiu et al. (2011) "

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