International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Yellow Sea (LME)

440 190 Km2
5 866 Km

The Yellow Sea LME is bordered by China and the Korean Peninsula. It is one of the largest shallow continental shelf areas in the world, covering an area of about 437,000 km² and measures approximately 1,000 km by 700 km and with an average depth of 44 m and a maximum depth of 140 m. The Yellow Sea is under influence of the Asian monsoon system, and circulation is predominately influenced by winter cooling and summer heating, freshwater discharge and the inflow of warm saline waters in a branch of the Kuroshio current. The Kuroshio Current is the major driver of the shelf water circulation. There are 10 major estuaries, and some of the rivers discharging directly into the Yellow Sea include the Han, Yangtze and Yellow River. Rivers discharge approximately 1.6 billion tonnes of sediment and 1,500 billion tonnes of freshwater into the Yellow Sea annually with a further 460 billion tonnes of water from rainfall. The huge freshwater inputs result in temperature and salinity differences that limit the water exchange between the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea resulting to a low flushing rate of once every seven years. The low flushing rate combined with weak water circulation makes this sea vulnerable to pollution and its coastal areas highly susceptible to localized pollution discharges.


LME Factsheet
Available Metadata for GEF LME Projects
Total cost 399,00M US$
GEF allocation 80,00M US$
1. Adopted ecosystem-based approach for preparation of TDA and SAP as the first IW project using the approach. The TDA process has helped the participating countries to collect about 30 years historical data and information. With the scientific data, information and knowledge, TDA has successfully identified the environmental problems, the priorities, and causes of the problem, which well ser...
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