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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 404:39-50 (2010)  -  DOI:

Strong enhancement of chlorophyll a concentration by a weak typhoon

Liang Sun1,2,*, Yuan-Jian Yang3, Tao Xian1, Zhu-min Lu4, Yun-Fei Fu1

1Laboratory of Atmospheric Observation and Climatological Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, PR China
2LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, PR China
3Anhui Institute of Meteorological Sciences, Hefei 230031, PR China
4Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Environmental Dynamics, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301, PR China

ABSTRACT: Recent studies demonstrate that chlorophyll a (chl a) concentrations in ocean surface waters can be significantly enhanced due to typhoons. The present study investigated chl a concentrations in the middle of the South China Sea (SCS) from 1997 to 2007. Only the Category 1 (minimal) Typhoon Hagibis (2007) had a notable effect on chl a concentrations. Typhoon Hagibis had a strong upwelling potential due to its location near the equator, and the forcing time of the typhoon (>82 h) was much longer than the geostrophic adjustment time (~63 h). The higher upwelling velocity and the longer forcing time increased the depth of the mixed-layer, which consequently induced a strong phytoplankton bloom that accounted for about 30% of the total annual chl a concentration in the middle of the SCS. Induction of significant upper ocean responses can be expected if the forcing time of a typhoon is long enough to establish strong upwelling.

KEY WORDS: SCS · Forcing time · Upwelling

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Cite this article as: Sun L, Yang Y, Xian T, Lu Z, Fu Y (2010) Strong enhancement of chlorophyll a concentration by a weak typhoon. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 404:39-50.

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