Enhanced primary production in the oligotrophic South China Sea by eddy injection in spring

I. I. Lin, Chun Chi Lien, Chau-Ron Wu, George T.F. Wong, Chih Wei Huang, Tzu Ling Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In May 2003, a phytoplankton bloom of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration of 0.3-0.4 mgm-3 was observed at the centre of northern South China Sea (SCS) by NASA's Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View sensor. As this region is remote and known to be oligotrophic in spring (Chl-a concentration typically at ∼0.05-0.08 mgm-3), it is intriguing to explore this unusual happening. Based on six different remote sensing data and numerical modelling, the results suggest that the injection of an ocean eddy is the most likely cause of the bloom. Due to long-range transport of a large (700 × 500 km) anti-cyclonic ocean eddy, coastal nutrients and plankton could be brought across hundreds of kilometres to the centre of northern SCS and impact the biogeochemistry. The open ocean part of the northern SCS basin has long been considered generally free from coastal influences. This work provides new evidence that proves otherwise. Moreover, from the perspective of physical oceanography, it is interesting to observe that, outside the monsoon seasons, there can be well-defined anti-cyclonic ocean circulation existing in the SCS without the prevailing monsoonal wind.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL16602
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume37
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug 1

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primary production
China
eddy
oceans
vortices
injection
chlorophylls
chlorophyll a
algal bloom
biogeochemistry
remote regions
plankton
Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor
oceanography
physical oceanography
phytoplankton
SeaWiFS
monsoons
nutrients
long range transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Enhanced primary production in the oligotrophic South China Sea by eddy injection in spring. / Lin, I. I.; Lien, Chun Chi; Wu, Chau-Ron; Wong, George T.F.; Huang, Chih Wei; Chiang, Tzu Ling.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 37, No. 16, L16602, 01.08.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lin, I. I. ; Lien, Chun Chi ; Wu, Chau-Ron ; Wong, George T.F. ; Huang, Chih Wei ; Chiang, Tzu Ling. / Enhanced primary production in the oligotrophic South China Sea by eddy injection in spring. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2010 ; Vol. 37, No. 16.
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