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Air-sea-land forcing in the Gulf of Tonkin: Assessing seasonal variability using modern tools

TitleAir-sea-land forcing in the Gulf of Tonkin: Assessing seasonal variability using modern tools
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsRogowski P, Zavala-Garay J., Shearman K., Terrill E, Wilkin J., Lam T.H
Date Published2019/06
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1042-8275
Accession NumberWOS:000471763900021
Keywordscirculation; dynamics; field; internal waves; oceanography; performance; south china sea; surface; water

A US-Vietnamese collaborative program established in 2014 provides a framework for partnership with foreign governments. A primary objective of the program is to enhance the Vietnamese collaborators' skills through training and education and to increase the capacity of their local institutions to conduct research and collect observations that benefit Vietnam. Here, we the synthesize the first results from this program, including development of a high-resolution numerical model and implementation of satellite imagery, high-frequency radar-based surface current measurements, repeat (monthly) coastal hydrography, and drifter and wave observations. We assess seasonal circulation trends along the western Gulf of Tonkin, specifically focusing on the seasonality of a unique Red River water mass that was largely ignored by earlier studies. The development and downcoast advection of the seasonal coastal current was found to be a key dynamical feature of the western region of the gulf. Additionally, observational data sets suggest episodic forcing from storm events is important to the higher frequency dynamics in the region. Collection and subsequent analysis of extensive data sets by this US-Vietnamese partnership confirm the importance of riverine input to Gulf of Tonkin dynamics and address a known scientific gap in previous studies of the region.

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