Characteristics of Water Temperature Inversion Observed in a Region West of Jeju Island in April 2015

2015년 4월에 제주 서부해역에서 발생한 수온역전층 특성

  • Kim, Seong Hyeon (Marine Security and Safety Research Center, Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology)
  • 김성현 (한국해양과학기술원 해양방위.안전연구센터)
  • Received : 2019.08.07
  • Accepted : 2020.04.07
  • Published : 2020.06.30


In-situ observations were carried out in April 2015 to investigate the occurrence of water temperature inversion in a region west of Jeju Island. Analysis of in-situ in the western part of Jeju island showed that cold water moved to the southeast from the surface to the middle layer and warm water moved from the middle to the lower layer of the northwest direction. The water temperature inversion occurred at 84 stations (63.1%) out of 133 stations. At the boundary of the water temperature inversion layer, it was formed in the middle layer and disappeared. In the strongly appearing, it started from the middle layer to the lower layer. The shape of the water temperature inversion layer was different. As a result of horizontal water temperature slope analysis of the water temperature inversion zone, maximum 0.23℃/km was obtained and the mean was 0.06℃/km. The role of water temperature inversion as an indicator to determine the formation of water front. As a result of the water mass analysis, Jeju Warm Current Water and Tsushima Warm Current Water of high temperature and high salt intruded from the middle to the bottom. In the middle layer occurred as the Yellow Sea Cold Water of low water temperature and low salinity expanded.


  1. Cho KD, Lee JC, Heo SH (1993) Introduction to oceanography. Taehwa Publisher, Seoul, 84 p
  2. Cho KD, Park SW (1990) Inversion phenomena of temperature off East Cheju Island in summer, 1986. Bull Korean Fish Tech Soc 26(3):265-274
  3. Gong GC, Chen YLL, Liu KK (1996) Chemical hydrography and chlorophyll a distribution in the East China Sea in summer: implications in nutrient dynamics. Cont Shelf Res 16(12):1561-1590. doi:10.1016/0278-4343(96)00005-2
  4. Gong Y (1982) A study of oceanic thermal fronts in the southwestern Japan Sea. Bull Fish Res Dev Agency 28:25-54
  5. Hao J, Chen Y, Wang F (2010) Temperature inversion in China seas. J Geophys Res-Oceans 115(C12):C12025 doi:10.1029/2010JC006297
  6. Hur HB, Jacobs GA, Teague WJ (1999) Monthly variations of water masses in the Yellow and East China Seas, November 6, 1998. J Oceanogr 55(2):171-184
  7. Jang ST, Lee JH, Kim CH, Jang CJ, Jang YS (2011) Movement of cold water mass in the northern East China Sea in summer. J Kor Soc Oceanogr 16(1):1-13
  8. Kang YQ (1983) On the generation of temperature inversions in the upper layer of the ocean. J Kor Soc Oceanogr 18(1):43-48
  9. Kim HJ, Cho KD (1982) Inversion phenomena of density in the Japan Sea. J Kor Soc Oceanogr 17(2):51-58
  10. Kim HJ, Yoon HJ, Yang SK (1982) Inversion phenomena of temperature in the Yellow Sea. Kor J Fish Aquat Sci 18(2):91-96
  11. KOSEF (1990) Tsushima current and circulation in the East Sea (Sea of Japan), KOSEF, Korea Science and Engineering Foundation, Daejeon, 90 p
  12. KSO (2005) Marine science terminology dictionary. Academy Books, Seoul, 509 p
  13. Lee CI, Koo DH (2009) Effects of water temperature inversion on the stratification variation in october and december in the South Sea of Korea. Korean Soc Mar Environ Saf 15(3):165-171
  14. Lee KB (1978) Study on the coastal cold water near Ulsan. Kor J Fish Aquat Sci 13(2):5-10
  15. Lie HJ, Cho CH (1997) Surface current fields in the eastern east China Sea. J Kor Soc Oceanogr 32(1):1-7
  16. Lie HJ, Cho CH, Jung KT (2015) Occurrence of large temperature inversion in the thermohaline frontal zone at the Yellow Sea entrance in winter and its relation to advection. Kor J Fish Aquat Sci 120(1):417-435. doi:10.1002/2014JC010653
  17. Lie HJ, Cho CH, Lee JH, Lee S, Tang Y (2000) Seasonal variation of the Cheju warm current in the northern East China Sea. J Oceanogr 56(2):197-211
  18. Lie H-J, Oh K-H, Cho C-H, Moon JH (2019) Wintertime large temperature inversions in the Yellow Sea associated with the Cheju and Yellow Sea warm currents. Kor J Fish Aquat Sci 124:4856-4874. doi:10.1029/2019JC015180
  19. Na JY, Lee SW, Cho KD (1991) A s tudy on sea wa ter a nd ocean current in the sea adjacent to Korea peninsula-The vertical structure of temperatures in the East Sea of Korea. Kor J Fish Aquat Sci 24(4):215-228
  20. Nagata Y (1967) On the structure of shallow temperature inversions. J Oceanogr Soc Japan 23(5):221-230
  21. Nakao T (1977) Ocean variability in relation to fisheries in the East China Sea and Yellow Sea. J Fac Mar Sci Technol Tokai Univ 10:199-367
  22. Pang IC, Moon JH, Lee JH, Hong JS, Pang SJ (2017) Modeling temperature inversion in southeastern Yellow Sea during winter 2016. J Geophys Res-Oceans 122(5):3848-3860. doi:10.1002/2017JC012718
  23. Park JH, Choi KH (1995) A study on the fishing ground and the prediction of fishing conditions of mackerel, Scomber Japonicus Houttuyn. Bull Nat Fish Res Dev Agency 49:25-35
  24. Park S, Chu PC (2006) Thermal and haline fronts in the Yellow/East China Seas: Surface and subsurface seasonality comparison. J Oceanogr 62(5):617-638
  25. Park YH (1986) Water characteristics and movements of the Yellow Sea warm current in summer. Prog Oceanog 17:243-254. doi:10.1016/0079-6611(86)90047-9
  26. SBE (2016) 911plus CTD brochures. Accessed 19 May 2020
  27. Schick RS, Goldstein J, Lutcavage ME (2004) Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) distribution in relation to sea surface temperature fronts in the Gulf of Maine (1994-96). Fish Oceanogr 13(4):225-238. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2419.2004.00290.x
  28. Uda M (1959) Oceanographic seminars. 2-watermass boundaries-" Siome". Frontal theory in oceanography. Board Can Ms Rep Ser 51:10-20
  29. Ullman DS, Cornillon PC (1999) Satellite-derived sea surface temperature fronts on the continental shelf off the northeast US coast. J Geophys Res-Oceans 104(C10):23459-23478. doi:10.1029/1999JC900133
  30. Yang JY, Kim SH, Rho HK (1998) A study on the temperature fronts observed in the South-West Sea of Korea and the northern area of the East China Sea. J Korean Fish Soc 31(5):695-706