Yuan, DL, Zhu, JR, Li, CY, Hu, DX (2008). Cross-shelf circulation in the Yellow and East China Seas indicated by MODIS satellite observations. JOURNAL OF MARINE SYSTEMS, 70(2-Jan), 134-149.
Ocean color and sea surface temperature data from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard the Terra satellite are used to study the cross-shelf circulation and transport of suspended sediments in the Yellow and the East China Seas. The ocean color images show a significant turbid water plume extending in the southeast direction from the Subei coasts of China to the shelf edge south of Cheju during fall-winter, suggesting significant cross-shelf currents in the Yellow Sea/East China Sea in winter. The currents transport suspended sediments from the area of the old Huanghe mouth into the Okinawa Trough. Part of the turbid plume joins the Yellow Sea Warm Current to enter the Yellow Sea trough in winter. The satellite images suggest that the time scales of cross-shelf transport and surface-to-subsurface descending of the suspended sediments are a few weeks. The turbid plume grows in fall, reaches its maximum expansion and intensity in winter-spring, and subsides in late spring. In summer, the plume becomes coastally trapped. Substantial interannual variations of the intensity and coverage of the turbid plume are indicated by the observations. In comparison, the Changjiang Diluted Water in summer only transports a small amount of the Changjiang suspended sediment to the outer shelf south of Cheju, which does not enter the Yellow Sea owing to the weak intrusion of the Yellow Sea Warm Current in summer. The dynamics of the cross-shelf circulation in the Yellow Sea in winter are hypothesized to be associated with (1) the convergence of the Yellow Sea Coastal Current and the Taiwan Warm Current off the Changjiang mouth and (2) the time-dependent forcing of the northerly wind bursts that drives the intrusion of the Yellow Sea Warm Current. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.