Summertime sea surface temperature fronts associated with upwelling around the Taiwan Bank

Kuo Wei Lan, Hiroshi Kawamura, Ming An Lee, Yi Chang, Jui Wen Chan, Cheng Hsin Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


It is well known that upwelling of subsurface water is dominant around the Taiwan Bank (TB) and the Penghu (PH) Islands in the southern Taiwan Strait in summertime. Sea surface temperature (SST) frontal features and related phenomena around the TB upwelling and the PH upwelling were investigated using long-term AVHRR (1996-2005) and SeaWiFS (1998-2005) data received at the station of National Taiwan Ocean University. SST and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) images with a spatial resolution of 0.01° were generated and used for the monthly SST and Chl-a maps. SST fronts were extracted from each SST images and gradient magnitudes (GMs); the orientations were derived for the SST fronts. Monthly maps of cold fronts where the cooler SSTs were over a shallower bottom were produced from the orientation. Areas with high GMs (0.1-0.2 °C/km) with characteristic shapes appeared at geographically fixed positions around the TB/PH upwelling region where SSTs were lower than the surrounding waters. The well-shaped high GMs corresponded to cold fronts. Two areas with high Chl-a were found around the TB and PH Islands. The southern border of the high-Chl-a area in the TB upwelling area was outlined by the high-GM area. Shipboard measurements of snapshot vertical sections of temperature (T) and salinity (S) along the PH Channel showed a dome structure east of PH Islands, over which low SST and high GM in the maps of the corresponding month were present. Clear evidence of upwelling (vertically uniform distributions of T and S) was indicated at the TB edge in the T and S sections close to TB upwelling. This case of upwelling may be caused by bottom currents ascending the TB slope as pointed out by previous studies. The position of low SSTs in the monthly maps matched the upwelling area, and the high GMs corresponded to the area of eastern surface fronts in the T/S sections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-910
Number of pages8
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr 15


  • Chlorophyll-a
  • Entropy-based edge detection
  • Penghu Islands
  • SST front
  • Taiwan Bank
  • Upwelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Geology


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