Seasonal-to-interannual variability of chlorophyll in central western South China Sea extracted from SeaWiFS
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Using 10-year (January 1998–October 2007) dataset of Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS), we extracted the dominant spatial patterns and temporal variations of the chlorophyll distribution in the central western South China Sea (SCS) through Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis. The results show that the first EOF mode is characterized by a high chlorophyll concentration zone along the Vietnam coast. We found two peaks in summer (July–August) and in winter (December), respectively, in normal years. The second EOF mode is characterized by a jet-shaped tongue of high chlorophyll concentration extending seaward to the northeast in summer (July–August). To investigate the interannual variability of the chlorophyll concentration, we extracted the first non-seasonal (annual cycle removed) EOF mode, which shows high spatial variability off the southeast Vietnam coast. Both spatial pattern and time coefficients correspond well with those of sea surface temperature mode, and are closely correlated to ENSO events, with a lag of 7 months.
Keywordchlorophyll variability ENSO South China Sea (SCS)
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