Impact of upwelling on phytoplankton blooms and hypoxia along the Chinese coast in the East China Sea

Chung Chi Chen*, Fuh Kwo Shiah, Gwo Ching Gong, Tzong Yueh Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study evaluates the rarely observed phenomenon of the simultaneous occurrences of phytoplankton blooms, hypoxia, and upwelling along the Zhejiang coast in the East China Sea. Results show that the upwelling uplifted bottom water to 5–10 m below the surface. In the upwelling region, phytoplankton blooms (Chl a = 10.9 μg L−1) occurred and hypoxia or low-oxygen appeared below the surface water. High concentrations of nitrate and phosphate were regenerated in the hypoxic regions, corresponding with mean values (± SD) of 16.9 (± 1.5) and 0.90 (± 0.14) μM, respectively. The upwelling expanded the region of hypoxic water, which nearly reached the surface, thereby increasing the threat to marine life. In addition to fluvial nutrients, the upwelling of water with high nutrient levels, especially phosphates, can enhance phytoplankton blooms. The results suggest that hypoxia can become more severe due to further decomposition of bloom-derived organic matter after blooms crash.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112288
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume167
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun

Keywords

  • East China Sea
  • Hypoxia
  • Nutrient regeneration
  • Phytoplankton blooms
  • Upwelling
  • Yangtze River

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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