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SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, Volume 60 , Issue 7 : 1356-1367(2017) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-016-9039-7

Dissolved barium as a tracer of Kuroshio incursion in the Kuroshio region east of Taiwan Island and the adjacent East China Sea

Wei LIU 1,2,3, JinMing SONG 1,2,4,*, HuaMao YUAN 1,2,4, Ning LI 1,2,4, XueGang LI 1,2,4, LiQin DUAN 1,2,4
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  • ReceivedFeb 6, 2017
  • AcceptedMar 22, 2017
  • PublishedMay 10, 2017

Abstract

From May to June 2014, the geochemical characteristics of dissolved barium (Ba) in sea water and its influx from the Kuroshio into the East China Sea (ECS) were studied by investigation of the Kuroshio mainstream east of Taiwan Island and the adjacent ECS. This allowed for the scope and extent of the Kuroshio incursion to be quantitatively described for the first time by using Ba as a tracer. The concentration of Ba in the Kuroshio mainstream increased gradually downward from the surface in the range 4.91–19.2 μg L−1. In the surface layer of the ECS, the Ba concentration was highest in coastal water and gradually decreased seaward, while it was higher in coastal and offshore water but lowest in middle shelf for bottom layer. The influx of Ba from Kuroshio into the ECS during May to October was calculated to be 2.19×108 kg by a water exchange model, in which the subsurface layer had the largest portion. The distribution of Ba indicated that Kuroshio upwelled in the sea area northeast of Taiwan Island. The north-flowing water in the Taiwan Strait restrained the incursion of Kuroshio surface water onto the ECS shelf, while Kuroshio subsurface water gradually affected the bottom of the ECS from outside. The results of end member calculation, using Ba as a parameter, showed that the Kuroshio surface water had little impact on the ECS, while the Kuroshio subsurface water formed an intrusion current by climbing northwest along the bottom of the middle shelf from the sea area northeast of Taiwan Island into the Qiantang Estuary, of which the volume of Kuroshio water was nearly 65%. Kuroshio water was the predominant part of the water on the outer shelf bottom and its proportion in areas deeper than the 100 m isobath could reach more than 95%. In the DH9 section (north of Taiwan Island), Kuroshio subsurface water intruded westward along the bottom from the shelf edge and then rose upward (in lower proportion). Kuroshio water accounted for 95% of the ocean volume could reach as far as 122°E. Ba was able to provide detailed tracing of the Kuroshio incursion into the ECS owing to its geochemical characteristics and became an effective tracer for revealing quantitative interactions between the Kuroshio and the ECS.


Funded by

Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA11020102)

Aoshan Talents Program(2015ASTP-OS13)

Scientific and Technological Innovation Project(2016ASKJ14)

Joint Fund of Shandong Province and National Natural Science Foundation of China(U1406403)


Acknowledgment

This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA11020102), the Aoshan Talents Program (Grant No. 2015ASTP-OS13) and the Scientific and Technological Innovation Project (Grant No. 2016ASKJ14) Financially Supported by Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, and Joint Fund of Shandong Province and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. U1406403).


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  • Figure 1

    Schematic diagram of sampling stations and water mass distribution. The blue area represents China Coastal Waters (CCW); the yellow area represents Taiwan Current Warm Water (TCWW); the purple area represents Shelf Vertical Mixed Water (SVMW); the green area represents Kuroshio Upwelling Water (KUW); the red area represents the Kuroshio mainstream.

  • Figure 2

    Temperature-salinity diagram for water of different sections.

  • Figure 3

    Vertical distribution of Ba in water of the Kuroshio mainstream.

  • Figure 4

    Correlations between Ba and Si (a), and Ba and pH (b) in the Kuroshio mainstream.

  • Figure 5

    Ba concentration in water of station TW0-1 and Kuroshio mainstream.

  • Figure 6

    Correlation between Ba and Chl a in surface water of the ECS.

  • Figure 7

    Plane distribution of Ba in water of the study area.

  • Figure 8

    Distribution of Ba in the water of section DH9.

  • Figure 9

    Proportion of Kuroshio water in the bottom layer of the ECS shelf.

  • Figure 10

    Proportion of Kuroshio water in section DH9.

  • Figure 11

    Correlation between the results of two sets of parameters.

  • Table 1   Concentration of dissolved Ba in sea areas worldwide

    Sea area

    Period

    Depth (m)

    Ba (μg L−1)

    References

    Southern Indian Ocean

    1985-02–1985-03, 1986-03–1986-05, 1987-01–1987-02

    5000

    4.21–16.84

    Jeandel et al. (1996)

    Southern Atlantic

    4500

    6.12–14.02

    Horner et al. (2015)

    South China Sea

    2010-01

    3600

    5.39–19.17

    Cao et al. (2016)

    Arctic Ocean

    2007

    250

    4.25–13.55

    Roeske et al. (2012)

    Weddell Gyre of Antarctic

    2006-01–2006-04

    5000

    0.51–15.01

    Hoppema et al. (2010)

    Bay of Bengal

    2008-11

    3800

    4.91–15.85

    Singh et al. (2013)

  • Table 2   Budget of Ba and water transport in the ECS shelf area (May‒October, rainy season)

    Exchange items

    Salinity

    Density

    (kg m−3)

    Water flux

    (Sv)

    Ba concentration

    (μg L−1)

    Ba flux

    (kg s−1)

    Ba flux in half year

    (×108kg/half year)

    References

    Input items

    River (Changjiang River)

    0.18

    1000

    0.040

    Ministry of water resources of PRC (2013)

    Taiwan Strait water

    34.00

    1022

    1.63

    Guo et al. (2005)

    KSW

    34.59

    1022

    0.781

    5.52

    4.31

    0.69

    KSSW

    34.73

    1024

    0.781

    7.45

    5.82

    0.92

    KIW

    34.33

    1027

    0.260

    14.13

    3.67

    0.58

    Output items

    ECS shelf edge

    33.42

    1023

    −0.660

    7.926

    −5.23

    −0.82

    Tsushima Strait

    33.60

    1027

    −2.85

    7.926

    −22.59

    −3.56

    Fukudome et al. (2010)

    Exchange between the Yellow Sea and ECS

    32.70

    1025

    −0.009

    Hong et al. (2002)

    Sv=106 m3 s−1; Output items marked as “‒”; Total days from May to October summed up as 184; Water flux of Taiwan Strait and Tsushima Strait was the average value from May to October

  • Table 3   Values of the parameters measured for each end member

    End member

    (Water mass)

    Salinity

    Temperature (°C)

    Ba (μg L−1)

    KSW

    34.59±0.14

    26.81±1.11

    5.52±0.33

    KSSW

    34.73±0.09

    20.66±3.40

    7.45±0.38

    TSW

    33.96±0.53

    24.95±0.89

    6.61±0.48

    CCW

    29.83±2.34

    21.16±1.11

    15.29±2.13

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