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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-62
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-62
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Jun 2018

Research article | 11 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

Tidal variability in the Hong Kong region

Adam T. Devlin1, Jiayi Pan1,2,3, and Hui Lin4 Adam T. Devlin et al.
  • 1Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • 2College of Marine Science, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  • 3Shenzhen Research Institute, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
  • 4Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China

Abstract. Mean sea-level (MSL) is rising worldwide, and correlated changes in ocean tides are also occurring; their combination may influence future total sea-levels (TSL), possibly increasing coastal inundation and nuisance flooding events in sensitive regions. Analyses of a set of tide gauges in Hong Kong and in the South China Sea (SCS) reveal complex tidal behavior. Most prominent in the results are strong correlations of MSL variability to tidal variability which may further increase local flood levels under future MSL rise. We also highlight inter-tidal correlations of diurnal (D1) tides to semidiurnal (D2) tides, positively reinforced through the northern SCS, and the correlations of overtide (OT) fluctuations to D1 and D2, negatively reinforced (i.e., anti-correlated) across the same region, thought to be related to the baroclinic energetics in the Luzon Strait and the Taiwan Strait. The baroclinic signals may be enhanced at the northern shelf of the SCS and can generate PSI interactions that may amplify minor tides such as M3. Additionally, there are anomalous tidal events observed in some enclosed harbor regions of Hong Kong, corresponding to times of rapidly changing MSL as well as rapid coastal development projects. Results support the hypothesis that the observed variability is due to multiple spatial processes, best described as an amplification of the local (Hong Kong) tidal response to the prevailing regional (SCS) tidal patterns, enhanced by local harbor changes. A close analysis of the full-spectrum tidal response suggests that a change in the resonant and frictional response may have occurred.

Adam T. Devlin et al.
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Adam T. Devlin et al.
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Short summary
Ocean tides and mean sea level (MSL) can show correlations of short-term variability in addition to the long term trends, which may combine to increase total water levels at multiple time scales. Such changes may have implications for short-term high-water events such as nuisance flooding. This work analyzes the variability of tides in the Hong Kong region to find that small changes in MSL may amplify tidal changes in Hong Kong, suggesting a strong sensitivity of water levels in the region.
Ocean tides and mean sea level (MSL) can show correlations of short-term variability in addition...
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