MEPS 303:91-103 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/meps303091

Primary production in the Yellow Sea determined by ocean color remote sensing

SeungHyun Son1, 4, *, Janet Campbell1, Mark Dowell2, Sinjae Yoo3, Jaehoon Noh3

1Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire 03824, USA
2Inland and Marine Waters Unit, Joint Research Centre, TP 272, I21020 Ispra, Italy
3Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, PO Box 29, Ansan 425-600, South Korea
4Present address: School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469-5741, USA

ABSTRACT: The Yellow Sea is a shelf sea surrounded by the Korean peninsula and the eastern coast of China. The bordering countries derive a substantial share of their food from fishing in these coastal waters. Synoptic maps of water-column integrated primary production in May and September were derived using a primary production algorithm applied to ocean color satellite data from the Yellow Sea from 1998 to 2003. The middle of the Yellow Sea (MYS) had higher levels of primary production in May and September than the shallower (<50 m) areas off the coasts of Korea and China. Although the coastal areas had high phytoplankton biomass, lower levels of primary production were caused by high turbidity arising from strong tides and shallow depths. Lower turbidity in the central part of the Yellow Sea allows light necessary for primary production to penetrate deeper into the water column. The mean daily integrated primary production in the MYS was 947 mg C m–2 d–1 in May and 723 mg C m–2 d–1 in September. The mean values in Chinese and Korean coastal waters were 590 and 589 mg C m–2 d–1 in May, and 734 and 553 mg C m–2 d–1 in September, respectively. Our computation of daily total primary production for the entire Yellow Sea was 19.7 × 104 t C d–1 in May, and 15.8 × 104 t C d–1 in September.

KEY WORDS: Primary production · Phytoplankton · Ocean color · SeaWiFS · Yellow Sea

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