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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-9
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
12 Feb 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).
Physical Modulation to the Biological Productivity in the Summer Vietnam Upwelling System
Wenfang Lu1,2,3,4, Enhui Liao2,3,4,6, Xiao-Hai Yan3,4, Lie-Yauw Oey5,6, Wei Zhuang2,4, and Yuwu Jiang2,4 1Key Laboratory of Spatial Data Mining and Information Sharing of Ministry of Education, & National Engineering Research Centre of Geo-spatial Information Technology, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, 350116, China
2State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, College of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361102, China
3Center for Remote Sensing, College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA
4Joint Institute for Coastal Research and Management, University of Delaware/Xiamen University, USA/China
5National Central University, Jhongli City, Taoyuan County, Taiwan
6Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Abstract. 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 spatio-temporal covariability between primary production and kinetic energy. High productivity is associated with high kinetic energy, which accounts for ~ 15 % of the production variability. Results from a physical-biological coupled model reveal that the elevated kinetic energy and intensified circulation can be explained by the separation of the upwelling current system. The separated current forms an eastward jet into the interior South China Sea, and the associated southern gyre traps nutrient and favors productivity. When separation is absent, the model shows weakened circulation and eddy activity, with ~ 21 % less nitrate inventory and ~ 16 % weaker primary productivity.

Citation: Lu, W., Liao, E., Yan, X.-H., Oey, L.-Y., Zhuang, W., and Jiang, Y.: Physical Modulation to the Biological Productivity in the Summer Vietnam Upwelling System, Ocean Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-9, in review, 2018.
Wenfang Lu et al.
Wenfang Lu et al.
Wenfang Lu et al.

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Short summary
In this study, we investigate the physical factors controlling the biological production in a coastal upwelling system, the Vietnam Boundary Upwelling System in the South China Sea. We found that, in addition to the effects from the wind (as a major factor driving the ocean), the ocean circulation could also contribute positively to the production here, which is distinct from other major coastal upwelling systems.
In this study, we investigate the physical factors controlling the biological production in a...
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