Modeling Offshore Freshwater Dispersal from the Changjiang River and Controlling Factors During Summer

Abstract

In this study we examine offshore transport and dispersal pathways of the freshwater discharge from the Changjiang River in the East China Sea (ECS), using a regional ECS model. Comparison between the results for 1996 and 1998 clearly shows that the summer monsoon winds play a significant role in spreading the freshwater discharge offshore and determining the dispersal of freshwater in the ECS. Analysis of 10-year simulation demonstrates that a northeastward freshwater transport to Jeju Island across the northwestern shelf of the ECS dominates during the summer period due to the surface Ekman flow by the southeasterly along-shore wind. Meanwhile, there is virtually no relationship between the amount of the summer discharge and the freshwater pathway toward Jeju Island. Our analysis also suggests that when the summer wind is relatively weak, another freshwater pathway toward the central ECS appears with the ambient along-shelf current between the Taiwan Strait and the Korea Strait.

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