1State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography (LTO), South China Sea
Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
2College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
3Sanya Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering, Chinese Academy
of Sciences, Sanya, China
4South China Sea Marine Engineering Survey Center, State Ocean
Administration, Guangzhou, China
Received: 21 Jul 2015 – Discussion started: 10 Sep 2015
Abstract. We examine near-inertial variability of the meridional overturning circulation in the South China Sea (SCSMOC) using a global 1 / 12° ocean reanalysis. Based on wavelet analysis and power spectrum, we suggest that deep SCSMOC has a significant near-inertial band. The maximum amplitude of the near-inertial signal in the SCSMOC is nearly 4 Sv. The spatial structure of the signal features regularly alternating counterclockwise and clockwise overturning cells. It is also found that the near-inertial signal of SCSMOC mainly originates from the region near the Luzon Strait and propagates equatorward at a speed of 1–3 m s−1. Further analyses suggest that the near-inertial signal in the SCSMOC is triggered by high-frequency wind variability near the Luzon Strait, where geostrophic shear always exists due to Kuroshio intrusion.
Revised: 04 Jan 2016 – Accepted: 02 Feb 2016 – Published: 01 Mar 2016
Xiao, J., Xie, Q., Wang, D., Yang, L., Shu, Y., Liu, C., Chen, J., Yao, J., and Chen, G.: On the near-inertial variations of meridional overturning circulation in the South China Sea, Ocean Sci., 12, 335-344, doi:10.5194/os-12-335-2016, 2016.