Field Observations of Changes in SST, Chlorophyll and POC Flux in the Southern East China Sea Before and After the Passage of Typhoon Jangmi


Severe tropical storms play an important role in triggering phytoplankton blooms, yet direct field observation of evidence of the effects of a typhoon is very rare. Sea surface temperature (SST), nitrate concentration, chlorophyll a (chl a) concentration, and particulate organic carbon (POC) flux were measured before and shortly after Typhoon Jangmi which affected the southern East China Sea (SECS) on September 28 ~ 29, 2008. In situ SST (27.5 ~ 28.0°C) on September 19 ~ 21, decreased to ~24.0°C (October 3 ~ 6) in the SECS 4 ~ 7 days after the passage of Typhoon Jangmi. In situ nitrate and chl a concentrations 7-days (on October 6) after the passage of Jangmi were 1.9 μM and 1.61 mg m-3, respectively, much higher than those (nitrate: 0.3 μM and chl a: 0.73 mg m-3) concentrations before the typhoon (September 21). The enhanced chl a concentration is thus caused by a nutrient supply via vertical mixing or upwelling in the euphotic zone. The POC flux 7-days after Jangmi's passage was 552 ± 28 mg-C m-2 d-1, a ~2.5-fold increases before the typhoon (224 ± 33 mg-C m-2 d-1, on September 21). Our results suggest that typhoons indeed can stimulate efficient POC export out of the euphotic zone, while it is still poorly understood with regard to the total effects of a typhoon on nutrient dynamics and detailed carbon sequestration due to sampling difficulty. Therefore, successional sea-going observations ought to be conducted in the affected area after the passage of typhoons.

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