Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem Yellow Sea
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names
LME SAU No 48. Northwest Pacific, between China and Korean Peninsula. LME2002, LME2006, SAU 2008. 40° N 31° N - 119° E 126° E
Location Map Yellow_Sea.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 440502 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface 18.0 °C Map151.gif
100 Meters Depth 14.5 °C Map152.gif
Description The semi-enclosed Yellow (Huanghai) Sea located between China and Korea is one of the largest shallow areas of continental shelf in the world. It is about 380,000 km² with a mean depth of 44 m and most of the area shallower than 80 m. The topography is rather flat, narrow and elongated in the N-S direction, covering about 8° of latitude (32° N to 40° N). The central part of the Sea is called the Yellow Sea depression, with depths in the range of 70 – 80 m, and isobaths run chiefly in the N-S direction. This is the major overwintering ground for most fish and invertebrates. The monsoon prevails over the sea, the direction of which changes biannually. In cold winters, due to strong stirring and cooling, the water temperature distribution is virtually homogenous. The surface temperatures range from about 0°C in the northernmost part to about 10°-13°C along the boundary of the East China Sea. The summer is quite different, with a homogenous horizontal surface layer, but large vertical gradients of water temperatures. In a hot summer, the surface temperature may be as high as 28°C or more. However, there is a Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass which can be as low as 4°-5°C for bottom water in the summer. The summer thermocline is at 5-15 meters. There is also a Yellow Sea Warm Current that lies within the Yellow Sea depression. It carries water of high salinity (>32 parts per 1000). Generally, dissolved oxygen is 6.4-8.0 ml/l at the surface and 4.0-6.4 ml/l at the bottom. (Tang, 1989) ( Temperature given in 100m depth is for 30m depth.
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
Ecosystem Checklist Link
FishBase Literature
Species Families Species Families Reference
1874 271
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