Review on current and seawater volume transport through the Taiwan Strait

Jianyu Hu, Hiroshi Kawamura, Chunyan Li, Huasheng Hong, Yuwu Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Patterns and features of currents and seawater volume transports in the Taiwan Strait have been reviewed by examining the results from more than 150 research papers in recent decades. It is noted that there are diverse or even conflicting viewpoints on these subjects. Here both common and different opinions are summarized. This review paper covers the studies involving in situ measurements and numerical modeling of current velocity, analyses of hydrographic data, and classification of water masses. Generally speaking, there are three currents in the Taiwan Strait: the China Coastal Current along the Fujian coast in the western Taiwan Strait, the extension of the South China Sea Warm Current in the western and central Taiwan Strait, and the Kuroshio's branch or loop current intruding through the eastern Taiwan Strait. The current pattern in winter is quite different from that in summer, and the currents also exhibit differences between the upper and lower layers. The seawater volume transport through the Taiwan Strait is about 2.3 Sv northward in summer but about 0.8 Sv northward in winter. Both the current pattern and the seawater transport vary with local winds in the Taiwan Strait. This is particularly true in winter when the currents and the transport in the upper layer are significantly affected by strong northeasterly winds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-610
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Oceanography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Review
  • Taiwan Strait
  • current pattern
  • seawater transport
  • summer
  • winter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


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