Journal of Marine Sciences ›› 2022, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (3): 73-85.DOI: 10.3969-j.issn.1001-909X.2022.03.007

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Seasonal variation of water masses and current field in the northeastern Beibu Gulf based on observations in 2018-2019


  • Online:2022-09-15 Published:2022-09-15

Abstract:  Hydrological observations were carried out in the northeastern of Beibu Gulf in July and October 2018, February 2019 to reveal its seasonal variations. Sectional measurements of temperature, salinity and current velocity were deployed to the north of 18°N and east of 108°E. The results show that there is obvious seasonal disparities on the character of water masses in this region: the sea water temperature in summer decreases from northern shallow water to southern deep region and the onshore brackish water dominates the area shallower than 30 m, and a occlusive cold water mass appears in deep layer to the west of Hainan Island; while in winter the water temperature increases from north to south, the brackish water shrinks to the northern coast shallower than 10 m, the area is occupied mainly by the mixed water, and a warm tongue appears in upper layer on the west of Hainan Island. The circulation in the research region is mainly counterclockwise in all three seasons, though the strength of current varies in different seasons, and is significantly influenced by wind. The water exchange between the northeastern gulf and outer ocean is not active, since the observed salinity is entirely less than 34. The water mass is generally shear instable, and static instability appears in winter. This suggests that the diapycnal mixing in this region might be strong. 

Key words: Beibu Gulf, water properties, seasonal variation, water mass, current field, stability

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