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Winter Eddy Genesis in the Eastern South China Sea due to Orographic Wind Jets

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  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou, China
  • | 2 State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou, China, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York
  • | 3 State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou, China
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Abstract

Generation of mesoscale eddies in the eastern South China Sea (SCS) in winters during August 1999 to July 2002 is studied with a reduced-gravity model. It is found that the orographic wind jets associated with the northeast winter monsoon and the gaps in the mountainous island chain along the eastern boundary of the SCS can spin up cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies over the SCS. Results suggest that direct wind forcing could be an important generation mechanism for the rich eddy activity in the SCS, and that to simulate this mechanism the resolution of the wind forcing has to be high enough to resolve the local wind jets induced by orographic effects.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Guihua Wang, State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou, China. Email: guihua_wanggh@yahoo.com.cn

Abstract

Generation of mesoscale eddies in the eastern South China Sea (SCS) in winters during August 1999 to July 2002 is studied with a reduced-gravity model. It is found that the orographic wind jets associated with the northeast winter monsoon and the gaps in the mountainous island chain along the eastern boundary of the SCS can spin up cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies over the SCS. Results suggest that direct wind forcing could be an important generation mechanism for the rich eddy activity in the SCS, and that to simulate this mechanism the resolution of the wind forcing has to be high enough to resolve the local wind jets induced by orographic effects.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Guihua Wang, State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou, China. Email: guihua_wanggh@yahoo.com.cn

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