Effect of a fast-moving tropical storm Washi on phytoplankton in the northwestern South China Sea
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AbstractTropical cyclones may augment nutrients in the ocean surface layer through mixing, entrainment, and upwelling, triggering phytoplankton blooms in oligotrophic waters such as the South China Sea (SCS). Previous studies focused mainly on responses of marine environments to strong or slow-moving typhoons in the SCS. In this study, we analyze variations of chlorophyll a (Chl a) and oceanic conditions in the continental shelf region east of Hainan Island during the fast-moving tropical storm Washi and investigate its influences on phytoplankton bloom and related dynamic mechanisms. Results indicate that there was significant variation of Chl a concentration in the continental shelf region, with low values (about 0.1 mg m−3) before the storm and a 30% increase after the storm. This increase was spatially variable, much larger nearshore than offshore. Power spectral analysis of Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) data at a shelf site near the study region reveals strong near-inertial oscillations (NIOs) in the upper layer, with a period of about 36 h, close to the local inertial period. The NIOs intensified mixing and modified the stratification of the upper layer, inducing uplift of nutrients and Chl a into the mixed layer from below, and leading to surface Chl a increase. The relatively shallow nutricline and thermocline in the continental shelf region before the storm were favorable for upwelling of nutrients and generation of NIOs. Advection of nutrients from enhanced runoff during and after the storm may be responsible for the larger increase of the Chl a nearshore.
All Author(s) ListHui Zhao, JiaYi Pan, Guoqi Han, Adam T. Devlin, Shuwen Zhang, Yijun Hou
Volume Number122
Issue Number4
Pages3404 - 3416
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordstropical storm,chlorophyll a,primary productivity,near-inertial oscillation,mixing
Web of Science Subject CategoriesOceanography;Oceanography

Last updated on 2020-02-06 at 00:23