Variations of chlorophyll-a in the northeastern Indian Ocean after the 2004 South Asian tsunami

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Abstract:

Analysis of satellite remote sensing data has revealed changes in distribution of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and sea surface temperature (SST) in the Indian Ocean during the South Asian tsunami in December 2004. Chl-a data derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) images were examined for the period from 1998 to 2005. Around the epicentre of the Sumatra earthquake, the Chl-a concentration was found to increase prior to the main event on 26 December 2004 and then decrease during the tsunami event, while a high SST (∼30-31°C) was observed in and around the epicentral region. Chl-a concentrations in the coastal waters of the Southeast Asian countries were remarkably low during and after the tsunami. Similar but relatively small variations in Chl-a and SST were observed during the second earthquake on 28 March 2005. Analysis of Chl-a, SST, wind and upwelling water has provided information for understanding the changes in Chl-a concentration during the tsunami. A very large offshore phytoplankton bloom (∼300 km2) appeared to the southeast of Sri Lanka about 3 weeks after the tsunami; this might have been caused by a tropical storm that could be responsible for the enhancement of nutrients.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01431160802603778

Affiliations: 1: Research Centre for Remote Sensing of Marine Ecology/Environment (RSMEE), LED, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, P. R. China 2: Research Centre for Remote Sensing of Marine Ecology/Environment (RSMEE), LED, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, P. R. China,Institute of Oceanography, University Malaysia Terengganu, Mengabang Telipot, Kuala, Terengganu, Malaysia,Complexite et Dynamique des Systemes Tropicaux, Departement de Biologie des Organismes, Faculte des Sciences, Universite libre de Bruxelles, ULB - Campus du Solbosch, Bruxelles, Belgium 3: Department of Physics, Computational Science and Engineering, Schmid College of Science, Chapman University, Orange, CA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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