South China Sea throughflow as evidence by satellite images and numerical experiments

Zuo Yu, S. Shen, J. P. McCreary, M. Yaremchuk, R. Furue

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49 Scopus citations


The South China Sea throughflow begins at the Luzon Strait, as an intrusion of the Kuroshio. At the present time, there are insufficient in situ measurements either to estimate accurately the transport loss or to provide a clear picture of the Kuroshio pathway at the Luzon Strait. In this study, we use newly available, multi-year, high-resolution satellite images and a numerical model to track the warm, relatively low-biomass, Pacific water carried by the Kuroshio. A suite of numerical experiments are carried out to identify key factors that influence Kuroshio paths at the Luzon Strait. The model can reproduce the satellite-inferred Kuroshio paths across the Luzon Strait only when a significant amount of the Kuroshio water is allowed to enter the Luzon Strait during December-February, therefore providing strong evidence for the existence of the South China Sea throughflow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL01601
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 16 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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