Articles | Volume 9, issue 4
Research article
09 Jul 2013
Research article |  | 09 Jul 2013

Image of a subsurface current core in the southern South China Sea

Q. S. Tang, D. X. Wang, J. B. Li, P. Yan, and J. Li

Abstract. A legacy seismic transect acquired on 30 and 31 May 2009 in the southern South China Sea (SCS) was reprocessed to reveal the thermohaline structure of the water column. In the study region, a mesoscale subsurface lens with extraordinary features was detected at 113.5° E, 11.5° N. It is centred at 450 m depth, occupies both the subsurface and intermediate water from 250 to 600 m, and has an intersection diameter of around 60 km. The simulated results from Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model reveal an eddy-induced subsurface current running southwestward along the deep basin edge and suggest that the imaged lens is a snapshot of the subsurface current core rather than a subsurface eddy.