Long-time observation of annual variation of Taiwan Strait upwelling in summer season

D. L. Tang, H. Kawamura, L. Guan

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The Taiwan Strait is between Taiwan Island and Mainland China, where several upwelling zones are well known for good fishing grounds. Earlier studies in the strait have been conducted on detecting upwelling by ship measurements with short-term cruises, but long-term variations of upwelling in this region are not understood. The present paper examines satellite images for a long-time observation of two major upwelling zones in the Taiwan Strait: Taiwan Bank Upwelling (TBU) and Dongshan Upwelling (DSU). Sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll a (Chl-a) images have been analyzed for summer months (June, July, and August) from 1980 to 2002. Results reveal annual variation of two upwelling zones. These two upwelling zones occur every year characterized with distinct low water temperature and high Chl-a concentrations. During the period from 1989 to 1998, SST is found to be 1.15 °C lower in TBU, and 1.42 °C lower in the DSU than the Taiwan Strait. The size of DSU has been found to be larger during summer of 1989, 1990, 1993 and 1995; TBU has been found to be weak during summer of 1994 and 1997. Ocean color images obtained from CZCS, OCI, and SeaWiFS also show high Chl-a concentrations (0.8-2.5 mg m -3 ) in two upwelling zones, which coincide with low SST in terms of location, shape, and time. These high Chl-a concentrations in TBU and DSU may be related to upwelling waters that bring nutrients from bottom to surface. The present results also show the potential of using satellite data for monitoring of ocean environment for long time period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-312
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jan 1


  • China
  • Chl-a
  • SeaWiFS
  • Taiwan Strait
  • Upwelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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