Physical and ecological processes of internal waves on an isolated reef ecosystem in the South China Sea
Article first published online: 29 SEP 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 18, September 2007
How to Cite
2007), Physical and ecological processes of internal waves on an isolated reef ecosystem in the South China Sea, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L18609, doi:10.1029/2007GL030658., , and (
- Issue published online: 29 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 29 SEP 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 AUG 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 11 AUG 2007
- Manuscript Received: 11 MAY 2007
- internal waves;
- reef ecosystem
 Field measurements at Dongsha Atoll in the northern South China Sea showed frequent drops in daily water temperature up to 8°C during intrusions of large nonlinear internal waves. The internal waves had a period of about 4 hours and velocity amplitude of 0.3 m s−1. Large variations of dissolved oxygen were observed a week after cold-water intrusion, which was followed in another 2 days by a significant increase of chlorophyll content. The 7–8-day delay suggests that phytoplankton blooms occurred after the nutrients were released through microbial decomposition of organics brought up by the internal waves. This study highlights the effects of internal waves and the possible role of the microbial food web on nutrient regeneration in a tropical reef ecosystem.