Seasonal SSH variability of the northern South China Sea

Fang Hua Xu, Lie Yauw Oey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The seasonal response of sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) to wind stress curl (WSC) in the northern South China Sea (NSCS) and the Kuroshio intrusion through the Luzon Strait is analyzed using observations and models. The dominant response to WSC is through simple Ekman pumping, while effects of ß appear as the weaker second empirical orthogonal function mode. The Luzon Strait intrusion is shown to be largely deterministic using a model forced by realistic wind in the North Pacific Ocean, and it contributes significantly to the SSH variability in the NSCS. The WSC accounts for 62%, while intrusion 38% of the total forcing, but the latter alters the forced Rossby wave response. Without the intrusion, westward propagation is too fast, resulting in incorrect balance and erroneous annual SSH variability in the NSCS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1595-1609
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015


  • Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena
  • Circulation/ Dynamics
  • Ekman pumping
  • Geographic location/entity
  • Models and modeling
  • North Pacific Ocean
  • Ocean dynamics
  • Ocean models
  • Seasonal variability
  • Variability


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