Sea surface temperature (SST) variability affects marine ecosystems, fisheries, ocean primary productivity and human activities and is the primary influence on typhoon intensity. SST drops of a few degrees in the open ocean after typhoon passages have been widely documented; however, few studies have focused on coastal SST variability. The purpose of this study is to determine typhoon-induced SST drops in the nearcoastal area (within 1 km of the coast) and understand the possible mechanism. The results of this study were based on extensive field data analysis. Significant SST drop phenomena were observed at the Longdong Buoy in northeastern Taiwan during 43 typhoons over the past 20 years (1998-2017). The mean SST drop (1SST) after a typhoon passage was 6.1 °C, and the maximum drop was 12.5 °C (Typhoon Fungwong in 2008). The magnitude of the SST drop was larger than most of the observations in the open ocean. The mean duration of the SST drop was 24 h, and on average, 26.1 h were required for the SST to recover to the original temperature. The coastal SST drops at Longdong were correlated with the moving tracks of typhoons. When a typhoon passes south of Longdong, the strong and persistent longshore winds induce coastal upwelling and pump cold water up to the surface, which is the dominant cause of the SST drops along the coast. In this study, it was determined that cold water mainly intruded from the Kuroshio subsurface into the Okinawa Trough, which is approximately 50 km from the observation site. The magnitude of coastal SST drops depends on the area of overlap between typhoons generating strong winds and the Kuroshio.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)