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Monsoon and eddy forcing of chlorophyll-a variation in the northeast South China Sea

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The physical and biological environments of the northeast South China Sea (SCS) were investigated using 11 year satellite and reanalysis data, including ocean chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentrations, sea surface wind (SSW) values, sea surface temperatures (SSTs), sea surface height anomalies (SSHAs), etc. The findings reveal that ocean Chl-a concentrations west of the Luzon Strait have the most significant annual cycles in the SCS. The dominant forcing mechanisms are monsoon winds and mesoscale eddies studied by multiple regression analysis. In the offshore regions, strong winds directly caused the enhancements by local vertical mixing and entrainment. As in the near-shore regions, the alongshore winds indirectly caused the enhancements by inducing coastal upwelling. Although SST is highly correlated with Chl-a concentration, SST cooling is difficult to observe in the bloom region. It is considered a consequence of monsoon and eddy forcings. Other mechanisms, such as local Ekman pumping by the wind stress curl and the geostrophic potential vorticity, have little effect on Chl-a seasonal variations.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Atmospheric Observation and Climatological Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences,University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei,Anhui,230026, PR China 2: State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modelling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics,Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing,100029, PR China

Publication date: 2012-12-10

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