The status of coastal oceanography in heavily impacted Yellow and East China Sea: Past trends, progress, and possible futures

Xiao Hua Wang*, Yang Ki Cho, Xinyu Guo, Chau Ron Wu, Junliang Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Coastal environments are a key location for transport, commercial, residential and defence infrastructure, and have provided conditions suitable for economic growth. They also fulfil important cultural, recreational and aesthetic needs; have intrinsic ecosystem service values; and provide essential biogeochemical functions such as primary productivity, nutrient cycling and water filtration. The rapid expansion in economic development and anticipated growth of the population in the coastal zones along the Yellow and East China Sea basin has placed this region under intense multiple stresses. Here we aim to: 1) synthesize the new knowledge/science in coastal oceanography since 2010 within the context of the scientific literature published in English; 2) report on a citation analysis that assesses whether new research topics have emerged and integrated over time, indicate the location of modelling and field-based studies; and 3) suggest where the new research should develop for heavily impacted estuaries and coastal seas of East Asia. The conclusions of the synthesis include: 1) China has emerged as a dominant force in the region in producing scientific literature in coastal oceanography, although the area of publications has shifted from its traditional fields such as physical oceanography; 2) there has been an increasing number of publications with cross-disciplinary themes between physical oceanography and other fields of the biological, chemical, and geological disciplines, but vigorous and systematic funding mechanisms are still lacking to ensure the viability of large scale multi-disciplinary teams and projects in order to support trans-disciplinary research and newly emerging fields; 3) coastal oceanography is responding to new challenges, with many papers studying the impacts of human activities on marine environment and ecology, but so far very few studying management and conservation strategies or offering policy solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 20


  • China
  • Coastal oceanography
  • Conservation
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Management
  • Physical and biogeochemical processes
  • Taiwan
  • Yellow Sea and East China Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science


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