Faculty and Staff
Title: Associate Research Fellow
Research Field: Physical Oceanography
Department: Key Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves
Tel/Fax: 0532-82896523

I am a sea-going physical oceanographer with research interests in process studies and dynamics related to signals of various time and space scales. My research activities have been in the areas of tropical and subtropical ocean circulations in the western Pacific Ocean, and their relationships with climate changes. I like to consider the inter-relationships between various components of the oceanic circulation at different time and length scales, and hence governed by different physics. I conduct microstructure measurements in the far western Pacific Ocean every year since 2017 to study the smaller-scale turbulent motions in different ocean states and the relationship between them.


Sep. 2001-Jul. 2006, Ocean University of China, Ph.D in Physical Oceanography.
Sep. 1997-Jul. 2001, Shandong University of Science and Technology, B.E in Machinery Design & Manufacture


Professional Memberships
Executive Officer of the NPOCE office (2019-2021)


Research Interests
Multi-Scale Ocean Circulation Dynamics and Variability associated with the climatic effects;
Turbulent mixing in western tropical Pacific Ocean;


Academic Achievements
1. The precursor of Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) prediction by the decadal variability of meridional geostrophic transport (MGT) in the tropical North Pacific Ocean(Zhou et al. 2018, JC; Zhou et al., 2019, OD).
The decadal variability of the Pacific is predictable if the meridional transport of the convergence area of tropical-subtropical gyre is used as a precursor, which demonstrates the oceanic predictor of the PDO prediction based on observations for the first time. However, most oceanic and climate system models fail to simulate the predictor effect of the MGT, indicating the shortcomings of these models in this region. Significant discrepancies between analysis/reanalysis wind and observed wind in this region may contribute to the shortcomings.
2. The impact and mechanism of two types of El Ni?o on the Pacific North Equatorial Countercurrent (NECC) (Tan & Zhou*, 2018, GRL).
Using observational analysis and ocean simulations, we show that the wind stress anomalies during the two El Ni?o types are of comparable amplitude but have different spatial structures, which results in significant and distinct variations in the NECC. The NECC shifts southward and intensifies during the developing phase of El Ni?o, but the variations are confined in the central-eastern Pacific for the EP type and the western-central Pacific for the CP type. These differences can be attributed to modulations in equatorial Kelvin wave and tropical Rossby wave propagation as well as Ekman pumping.
3.Improve the understanding of the seasonal variation of thermocline and ocean circulation in the tropical Pacific (Liu & Zhou*, 2020, JGR).
In the western Pacific (WP), the NEC shifts southward/northward when it is intensified/weakened in the first/latter half of the year. However, in the interior Pacific (IP), the INT shows anti-phase fluctuations with that in the WP with obvious westward propagations of the meridional shift of the YCM. In the eastern Pacific (EP), the phase relationship between the YCM and INT is opposite to that in the WP with the strengthening/weakening of the NEC being accompanied by a northward/southward shift of its axis. Different locations of the NEC seasonal thermocline departure maxima/minima in the WP, IP, and EP contribute to its distinct seasonal variations in these three basins. One of the new findings is that the shallowest thermocline generally corresponds to the largest meridional slope of the thermocline, hence favoring the intensification of the NEC, which is true for NEC in the IP and EP, but not the case in the WP. The Sverdrup theory tends to overestimate the NEC’s mean transport. Since the seasonal variations of the NEC are closely associated with the annual thermocline adjustments in the tropical Pacific Ocean, the structure and associated causes of its seasonal variations across the Pacific basin revealed in this study will help us to better understand the short-term climate variations in the tropical Pacific.

Honors and Awards
Key member of Tropical Pacific Western Boundary Current Research Group for the Outstanding Achievement Award in Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2017.


Selected Publications
1) Liu X. & Zhou H.* (2020). JGR-Oceans. Seasonal variations of the North Equatorial Current across the Pacific Ocean. 125(6),DOI:10.1029/2019JC015895.
2) Zhou. H.*, Liu. X., and Xu. P., (2019): Sensitivity of Sverdrup transport to surface wind products over the tropical North Pacific Ocean. Ocean Dynamics,
3) Zhou, H., D. Yuan*, L. Yang, X. Li, and W. Dewar, 2018. Decadal Variability of the Meridional Geostrophic Transport in the Upper Tropical North Pacific Ocean. Journal of Climate, 31(15): 5891-5910.
4) Tan, S., and H. Zhou*, 2018. The observed impacts of the two types of El Ni?o on the North Equatorial Countercurrent in the Pacific Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(19): 10493-10500.
5) Yuan, D, H. Zhou, Xia Zhao, 2013: Interannual Climate Variability over the Tropical Pacific Ocean Induced by the Indian Ocean Dipole through the Indonesian Throughflow. J. Climate, 26, 2845–2861.
6) Zhou H.*, Yuan Dongliang, Guo Peifang, Shi maochong, Zhang Qilong, Meso-scale circulation at the intermediate-depth east of Mindanao observed by Argo profiling floats. China Earth Sci, 53(3), 432-440, 2010.


Chief Scientist, 2017, NSFC open research cruise in the western Pacific Ocean, 33 Days, research vessel: “Kexue”;
Chief Scientist, 2016, NSFC open research cruise in the western Pacific Ocean, 40 Days, research vessel: “Kexue”;
Chief Scientist, 2014, NSFC open research cruise in the western Pacific Ocean, 35 Days, research vessel: “Kexue-1”


Contracts and Grants Funded
Hui Zhou (PI). (Jan. 2019–Dec. 2022). The structure and multi-scale variabilities of the North Equatorial Counter Current in its source area in the Pacific Ocean. (41876009). Total award ¥620,000.
Hui Zhou (Core Member). (Jan. 2020- Dec. 2024). The Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences B, Formation and Evolution of Ocean Energy and Material Confluence in the Indo-Pacific Convergent Area. (XDB42040403). Total award: ¥ 800,000
Hui Zhou (PI). (Jan. 2014–Dec. 2017). Variability of meso-scale eddies east of Philippines and their effect on the variation of North Equatorial Current bifurcation. (41376032). Total award ¥840,000.
Hui Zhou (PI). (Jan. 2009- Dec. 2011). Structure and variability of ocean circulation east of Mindanao island. (40806010). Total award : ¥200,000.


International cooperation and conferences
Dec. 10-14,2018, Ocean Science Meeting, Proposed and chaired the session “OS025. Indo-Pacific ocean circulation and the environmental and climatic impacts” .
21-26 Feb. 2016, Ocean Science Meeting, Oral presentation,” Long-term variabilities of meridional geostrophic volume transport in North Pacific Ocean”.
15-19 Dec. 2014, AGU Fall Meeting, Chaired the session “Multi-scale variability and predictability of ocean circulation and climate over the Indo-Pacific Ocean”.
7-12 Apr. 2013, EGU General Assembly 2013, as Co-convener of the session “Variability and predictability of climate in the Indo-Pacific Ocean”.
20-24 Feb. 2012, Ocean Science Meeting, Oral presentation, “Variations of the North Equatorial Current Bifurcation induced by mesoscale eddies”.