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Spatial and temporal variations of the seasonal sea level cycle in the northwest Pacific

Spatial and temporal variations of the seasonal sea level cycle in the northwest Pacific
Spatial and temporal variations of the seasonal sea level cycle in the northwest Pacific
The seasonal sea level variations observed from tide gauges over 1900–2013 and gridded satellite altimeter product AVISO over 1993–2013 in the northwest Pacific have been explored. The seasonal cycle is able to explain 60–90% of monthly sea level variance in the marginal seas, while it explains less than 20% of variance in the eddy-rich regions. The maximum annual and semiannual sea level cycles (30 and 6 cm) are observed in the north of the East China Sea and the west of the South China Sea, respectively. AVISO was found to underestimate the annual amplitude by 25% compared to tide gauge estimates along the coasts of China and Russia. The forcing for the seasonal sea level cycle was identified. The atmospheric pressure and the steric height produce 8–12 cm of the annual cycle in the middle continental shelf and in the Kuroshio Current regions separately. The removal of the two attributors from total sea level permits to identify the sea level residuals that still show significant seasonality in the marginal seas. Both nearby wind stress and surface currents can explain well the long-term variability of the seasonal sea level cycle in the marginal seas and the tropics because of their influence on the sea level residuals. Interestingly, the surface currents are a better descriptor in the areas where the ocean currents are known to be strong. Here, they explain 50–90% of interannual variability due to the strong links between the steric height and the large-scale ocean currents.
sea level seasonality, IB effect, steric height, wind stress, ocean currents, northwest Pacific
2169-9275
7091-7112
Feng, Xiangbo
ea69bf52-760a-46a1-921c-b3ebf172c754
Tsimplis, Michael N.
df6dd749-cda4-46ec-983c-bf022d737031
Marcos, Marta
e9449b6f-834c-4239-8bb7-b611a0062412
Calafat, Francisco M.
f97617bd-0238-48e6-b693-7d409ac30c47
Zheng, Jinhai
bbd96aae-fd60-40ae-8f34-340966acc930
Jordà, Gabriel
1b431c79-d202-4819-b30b-60ddc9a4bd0a
Cipollini, Paolo
276e356a-f29e-4192-98b3-9340b491dab8
Feng, Xiangbo
ea69bf52-760a-46a1-921c-b3ebf172c754
Tsimplis, Michael N.
df6dd749-cda4-46ec-983c-bf022d737031
Marcos, Marta
e9449b6f-834c-4239-8bb7-b611a0062412
Calafat, Francisco M.
f97617bd-0238-48e6-b693-7d409ac30c47
Zheng, Jinhai
bbd96aae-fd60-40ae-8f34-340966acc930
Jordà, Gabriel
1b431c79-d202-4819-b30b-60ddc9a4bd0a
Cipollini, Paolo
276e356a-f29e-4192-98b3-9340b491dab8

Feng, Xiangbo, Tsimplis, Michael N., Marcos, Marta, Calafat, Francisco M., Zheng, Jinhai, Jordà, Gabriel and Cipollini, Paolo (2015) Spatial and temporal variations of the seasonal sea level cycle in the northwest Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 120 (10), 7091-7112. (doi:10.1002/2015JC011154).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The seasonal sea level variations observed from tide gauges over 1900–2013 and gridded satellite altimeter product AVISO over 1993–2013 in the northwest Pacific have been explored. The seasonal cycle is able to explain 60–90% of monthly sea level variance in the marginal seas, while it explains less than 20% of variance in the eddy-rich regions. The maximum annual and semiannual sea level cycles (30 and 6 cm) are observed in the north of the East China Sea and the west of the South China Sea, respectively. AVISO was found to underestimate the annual amplitude by 25% compared to tide gauge estimates along the coasts of China and Russia. The forcing for the seasonal sea level cycle was identified. The atmospheric pressure and the steric height produce 8–12 cm of the annual cycle in the middle continental shelf and in the Kuroshio Current regions separately. The removal of the two attributors from total sea level permits to identify the sea level residuals that still show significant seasonality in the marginal seas. Both nearby wind stress and surface currents can explain well the long-term variability of the seasonal sea level cycle in the marginal seas and the tropics because of their influence on the sea level residuals. Interestingly, the surface currents are a better descriptor in the areas where the ocean currents are known to be strong. Here, they explain 50–90% of interannual variability due to the strong links between the steric height and the large-scale ocean currents.

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Accepted/In Press date: October 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 31 October 2015
Published date: October 2015
Keywords: sea level seasonality, IB effect, steric height, wind stress, ocean currents, northwest Pacific
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 383535
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383535
ISSN: 2169-9275
PURE UUID: b8c036da-8d13-40b1-af9c-4beec2861c78

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Date deposited: 02 Nov 2015 16:08
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 06:23

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Contributors

Author: Xiangbo Feng
Author: Michael N. Tsimplis
Author: Marta Marcos
Author: Francisco M. Calafat
Author: Jinhai Zheng
Author: Gabriel Jordà
Author: Paolo Cipollini

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