Marine Environmental Regionalization for the Beibu Gulf Based on a Physical-Biological Model

Type Article
Date 2021-02
Language English
Author(s) Pan Huanglei1, 2, Yu XiaolongORCID3, Liu Dishi1, 4, Shi Dalin1, 2, Yang Shengyun1, 4, Pan Weiran1, 4
Affiliation(s) 1 : State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
2 : College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
3 : Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, Université de Brest, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, IUEM, 29280 Brest, France
4 : College of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
Source Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (2077-1312) (MDPI AG), 2021-02 , Vol. 9 , N. 2 , P. 187 (21p.)
DOI 10.3390/jmse9020187
Keyword(s) Beibu Gulf, physical–biological model, regionalization, multivariate clustering, ENSO

A physical–biological ocean model was employed to investigate characteristics of the Beibu Gulf in the northwest South China Sea (SCS) from 2011 to 2015. We adopted the spatially constrained multivariate clustering method to determine the refined marine environmental regionalization using 10 variables from the model output, and compared regionalization differences in ENSO (El Niño–Southern Oscillation) years. The simulated physical and biochemical variables display a wide spectrum of patterns in space and time. The regionalization maps indicated that the Qiongzhou Strait and its adjacent area can be classified as a separate region, characterized by the rich presence of nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and detritus, owing to the water invasion from the western Guangdong estuary. As a result of the invasive progression of the SCS, the northern and southern gulf show distinct features over a boundary near 20° N. In the La Niña year (2011), the classified boundary of the Qiongzhou Strait-northeastern gulf moved southwards due to enhanced phytoplankton growth. In the El Niño year (2015), the current collision from the northern gulf and SCS resulted in the boundary of the northern and southern gulf moving to approximately 19° N. These results provide useful guidance on subregional marine management and subregional studies for the gulf.

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