After Black Sea Facts, it is time for Yellow Sea Facts. Unlike the weird name of the Black Sea, the Yellow Sea has its name for a reason that we will discuss in this article as we proceed. Just to say, we too are humans and we may make some mistakes while we write. If we accidentally miss out something that you are looking for here or if we make an error somewhere, feel free to contact us and let us know. We will fix the the problem or add the information you need. Sounds good? Let’s start…

NameYellow Sea.
Water ColorGolden Yellow.
TypeMarginal Sea.
LocationBetween Mainland China and Korean Peninsula.
DepthAverage 144 feet, maximum 499 feet.
Formed10,000 years BP during last Ice Age.
Salinity30‰ in northern side, 33-34‰ southern side.
Surrounding CountriesMainland China, South Korea and North Korea
Known For– Algal Blooms during summer months.

– Jindo Sea Parting Festival.

Yellow Sea Facts: 1-5 | Type, Location, Size and Depth

1. What type of a sea is Yellow Sea? It is a marginal sea just like the Black Sea. Wondering what a marginal sea is? It is basically a part of an ocean which remains partially enclosed within peninsulas, archipelagos and islands.

2. A marginal sea like Yellow Sea or Black sea should widely open to or should be adjacent to an open ocean. A marginal sea may or may not be bounded by submarine ridges on sea floor.

3. Now that we we know its type, the question is – where is Yellow Sea located? It sits between Korean Peninsula and mainland China. Yellow Sea is basically East China Sea’s northern part. Here, take a look at the map:

4. What is the size of Yellow Sea? Or, how big is Yellow Sea? Excluding the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea runs 600 miles or 960 kilometers north to south. From east to west, it is around 430 miles or 700 kilometers.

5. How deep is Yellow Sea? Not much. It is a shallow marginal sea with an average depth of 144 feet or 44 meters. The maximum depth it attains in 499 feet or 152 meters. What is the volume of Yellow Sea? It’s volume is about 4,100 cu. mi. or 17,000 cu. km. What is the area of Yellow Sea? The sea has an area of 150,000 sq. mi. or 380,000 sq. km.

Yellow Sea Facts: 6-10 | Formation, Naming, Major Rivers

6. How was Yellow Sea formed? Scientists believe that the sea was formed during the last Ice Age near about 10,000 years BP (Before Present). During the Ice Age, sea levels rose dramatically and a section of the continental shelf where Yellow Sea sits today, was flooded by rising sea levels.

7. Why is Yellow Sea called Yellow Sea? You must be wondering whether the Yellow Sea is really yellow or not. Yes, it is true. The water of the sea looks a bit yellow and hence the name.

8. But why does the water of Yellow Sea look yellow? The rivers that flow into the sea carry huge amounts of silt and sand. These deposits are partially responsible for the yellowish color of the water.

9. Apart from that, scientists say that storm deserts originating from Gobi Desert come all the way to the sea and because of this, the water surface of the sea turns golden yellow. That explains why Yellow Sea is Yellow.

10. What are the major rivers that flow into Yellow Sea? The primary rivers that flow into the Yellow Sea are:

Yellow River – it actually flows into Bohai Sea, which is basically Yellow River’s innermost bay. The Yellow River is also known as Huang He. [It is a river in China]

Hai River – it also flows directly into Bohai Sea. [It is a river in China]

Yalu River – it is a river that flows between North Korea and China border. It is also known as Amnok River.

Han River – it is a major South Korean river and fourth longest in overall Korean Peninsula. It is also known as Hangang. Before it flows into Yellow Sea, it actually merges with Rimjin River or Imjin River.

Taedong River – it is a North Korean river and is 5th longest in the overall Korean Peninsula.

Yellow River Facts: 11-15 | Islands and Climate

11. The Yellow Sea has several major islands and all of them are located in South Korea. The islands are: Baengnyeongdo, Anmado, Deokjeokdo, Daebudo, Ganghwado, Gageodo, Heuksando, Hauido, Jejudo, Hongdo, Jindo, Muuido, Silmido, Sido, Wando, Sindo, Yeonpyeongdo and Yeongjongdo.

12. As far as climate is concerned, Yellow Sea has northernly monsoons starting November and ending in March.

13. During winters, the average temperature in the southern parts of Yellow Sea stays at around 3°C while the temperatures in the northern parts drop to an average of -10°C.

14. The summer months that last from June to October frequently get typhoons. The climate is usually warm and wet during the summer months.

15. The annual precipitation varies from north to south. In north, it is around 500 mm or 20 inches a year and in the south it reaches all the way up to 1,000 mm or 39 inches. The cold water coastal areas get frequent fogs.

Yellow River Facts: 16-20 | Climate and Hydrology

16. During winter months, the northern parts of the Yellow Sea get continuous ice fields and also drift ice patches.

17. During the winter months, the salinity and water temperature of the sea across its depth remains more or less homogenous. However, the southern parts of the sea does have a bit warmer waters at around 6°C to 8°C.

18. In the spring months and summer months, salinity and temperature composition changes dramatically. The salinity of the upper layers decrease because of fresh water dumping from rivers. The lower layers however remain saline. The sun heats up the upper layers, making the water warmer compared to lower layers.

19. Commercial fish that are harvested from northern parts of Yellow Sea are usually found in the lower layers of water, which remains nearly stagnant and move very slowly towards the south.

20. During the summer months, the temperature of the sea increases anywhere between 22°C and 28°C. The salinity towards north remains at 30‰ while close to the southern parts of the sea, the salinity is between 33-34‰ (‰ means parts per thousand). Near river deltas, the salinity is even lower at 26‰.

Yellow River Facts: 21-25 | Tides and Jindo Sea Parting Festival

21. Tides occur two times in a day. This is called semidiurnal tide system. Near Chinese coasts, the tides have amplitude of anywhere between 3 feet and 9.8 feet. In Korean Peninsula, tides can reach as high as 13 feet to 26 feet.

23. The tidal system follows a clockwise rotation. The tidal current speed stays at around 1.6 kilometers per hour towards the center of the sea but near the coasts, the speed can average at 5.6 kilometers per hour. Only the Myeongnyang Strait, that lies between Korean Peninsula and Jindo Island, receives tidal speed of 20 kilometers per hour.

24. Between Modo and Jindo Islands, a land pass of 2.9 kilometers in length opens for nearly one hour because of variations in sea level caused by tides. This land pass opens only twice a year. Once at the starting of May and next towards mid-June. The land pass that opens is nearly 10 meters to 40 meters wide.

25. Korean people celebrate this even as Jindo Sea Parting Festival. It has been a long tradition and remained hidden from the world until 1975 when Pierre Randi – the French Ambassador saw it and reported it in newspaper for the first time.

Yellow River Facts: 26-30 | Marine Ecosystem – Flora, Fauna

26. When it comes to flora, Yellow Sea is rich in seaweed. Clams, shellfish, crustaceans, cephalopods and blue-green algae are also abundant in Yellow Sea. During summer months, the blue-green algal bloom occurs, which creates blue-green swirls in the sea. However, these species are mostly abundant in southern parts.

27. The sea’s southern part has intertidal mudflats near Korean west coast. About 10 kilometer wide and spanning over 2,850 square kilometers, the mudflats are known for rich benthic fauna that is important for migratory birds migrating north across East Asian – Australian Flyway. Nearly 2 million birds of 35 different species fly through intertidal mudflats. Some important species include black-faced spoonbills, Dalmatian pelicans, little gulls and Saunders’ gull (Saunders gull breed here).

28. A part of these mudflats called Saemangeum tidal flat area, dried off after South Korea dammed the whole area back in 1991-2006 period. Once 300,000 migratory birds passed through this estuary alone each year.

29. The Yellow Sea also had large numbers of megafaunas like sea turtles and other marine mammals that have dramatically reduced by illegal and direct hunting as well as pollution. That remain today include spotted seals, false killer whales, killer whales, finless porpoises and minke whales but they are also critically endangered in the area.

30. Historically, large whales also wintered or summered in Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea, for example, Humpback Whales, North Pacific right whales, Baird’s beaked whales etc. Once the Yellow Sea had a resident population of gray whales and fin whales. Most likely dugongs, Japanese sea lions, blue whales and leatherback turtles used Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea for either migrating or breeding.

Yellow Sea Facts – Extras:

  • More than 200 species of fish are harvested from Yellow Sea every year. The most Important ones include jellyfish, flounder, chub mackerel, Pacific herring, filefish, eel, squid, horse mackerel, cutlassfish, prawns, lizard fishes, croakers and sea bream.
  • Once Japan was the dominant country fishing in Yellow Sea but then it turned and now China dominates.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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