Physical modulation to the biological productivity in the summer Vietnam upwelling system

Lu, Wenfang; Oey, Lie-Yauw; Liao, Enhui; Zhuang, Wei; Yan, Xiao-Hai; Jiang, Yuwu

Biological productivity in the summer Vietnam boundary upwelling system in the western South China Sea, as in many coastal upwelling systems, is strongly modulated by wind. However, the role of ocean circulation and mesoscale eddies has not been elucidated. Here, we show a close spatiotemporal covariability between primary production and kinetic energy. High productivity is associated with high kinetic energy, which accounts for inline-formula∼15 % of the production variability. Results from a physical–biological coupled model reveal that the elevated kinetic energy is linked to the strength of the current separation from the coast. In the low production scenario, the circulation is not only weaker but also shows weak separation. In the higher production case, the separated current forms an eastward jet into the interior South China Sea, and the associated southern recirculation traps nutrients and favors productivity. When separation is absent, the model shows weakened circulation and eddy activity, with inline-formula∼21 % less nitrate inventory and inline-formula∼16 % weaker primary productivity.



Lu, Wenfang / Oey, Lie-Yauw / Liao, Enhui / et al: Physical modulation to the biological productivity in the summer Vietnam upwelling system. 2018. Copernicus Publications.


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