ABSTRACT

Kim C.S., 2016. Mixing and dispersal of low saline waters in estuarine coastal waters of the Yellow Sea. In: Vila-Concejo, A.; Bruce, E.; Kennedy, D.M., and McCarroll, R.J. (eds.), Proceedings of the 14th International Coastal Symposium (Sydney, Australia). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 75, pp. 58–62. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

This study investigates the mixing and dispersal processes of low saline waters that is mass discharged into estuarine coastal waters of the Yellow Sea. During the monsoon season, huge amounts of fresh water are discharged naturally into the Changjiang River Basin and they undergo mixing and dispersion in the coastal waters of the Yellow Sea. In 2003, a very valuable phenomenon showing meandering and patches with vertical lenticular shapes of low saline waters was observed in the Yellow Sea. The observed data presumably are unique as they represent the natural state before the construction of the Three Gorges Dam in China. However, many studies on the general circulation of the Yellow Sea that were conducted for the purposes of implementing a climatological approach were shown to be far from realistic with regard to the observed features of the meandering and dispersal of patches. In this study, we have used a similar numerical method, the ROMS ocean model system for fundamental modeling. However, here the study focuses on the combined effect of down-scaled local surface forcing and tides, applied to low saline water masses of water. The results clearly reveal a process of mixing and dispersal of low saline waters due to the vorticity balance between the Ekman transport and the tidal disturbance that yields meandering and patches with a vertical lenicular structure as observed in the natural field.

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