Recent advances in ocean-circulation research on the Yellow Sea and East China Sea shelves are summarized. Observations using acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) suggest that the connectivity of mean-volume-transports is incomplete between the Tsushima (2.6 Sverdrups; 1 Sv = 106 m3/s) and Taiwan Straits (1.2 Sv). The remaining 1.4-Sv transport must be supplied by onshore Kuroshio intrusion across the East China Sea shelf break. The Yellow Sea Warm Current is not a persistent ocean current, but an episodic event forced by northerly winter monsoon winds. Nevertheless, the Cheju Warm Current is detected clearly regardless of season. In addition, the throughflow in the Taiwan Strait may be episodic in winter when northeasterly winds prevail. The throughflow strengthens (vanishes) under moderate (severe) northeasterly wind conditions. Using all published ADCP-derived estimates, the throughflow transport (V) in the Taiwan Strait is approximated as V = V0 + V1 cos [2π (t - K)/T], where V0, V1, K are 1.2 Sv, 1.3 Sv, and 157 days, respectively, t is yearday, and T is 365.2422 days (i.e., 1 year). The difference between the throughflow transports in the Tsushima and Taiwan Straits suggests that the onshore Kuroshio intrusion across the shelf break increases from autumn to winter. The China Coastal Current has been observed in winter, but shelf currents are obscure in summer.
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