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In summer the Asian landmass is much warmer than the sea; in winter it is much colder, particularly in the Plateau of Tibet.
Summer heating of air masses over Asia builds areas of low pressure and creates the monsoonal winds, which in this season blow predominantly from the southeast.
These discoveries have led to disputes between the bordering countries over control of areas with potentially exploitable hydrocarbon reserves, particularly the regions around deep trenches, straits, rocks, and uninhabited islands.
A small amount of China’s oil and natural gas production comes from offshore wells in the East China Sea.
Seismic profiling indicates that the geologic structure beneath the ocean floor consists of nearly parallel folds, with rock ridges near the northern limits of the East China Sea, near the edge of the continental shelf, and along the Ryukyus.
These have afforded barriers for sediment brought down by the great Huang He (Yellow River) and also by the Yangtze.
Tuna, mackerel, shrimps, sardines, milkfish, sea breams, croakers, shellfish, and seaweeds are the main resources harvested.
In winter the situation is reversed: winds blow predominantly from the north, bringing with them cold, dry air from the continent.
Tsushima Current, which flows north into the Sea of Japan (East Sea), while the main part of the current diverts eastward back out into the Pacific south of Kyushu and flows east of Japan.
Strengthened by monsoon winds, the Kuroshio is at its widest and fastest in summer, and the axis is displaced well into the East China Sea.
The shallow shelf areas are covered with sediments from the bordering landmasses deposited mainly by the Yangtze and other rivers near the northern part of the sea.
Coarser sediments of sand occur farther out, and rocks, muds, and oozes are also found in scattered areas.
The western edge of the sea is a continuation of the shelf that extends between the South China Sea and the Yellow Sea.