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Xuyan Li, Jinzhao Xiang, Liudi Zhu, Zhibin Yang, Ting Wei, Bing Mu, Xiaobo Zhang, Tingwei Cui. Satellite-observed significant improvement in nearshore transparency of the Bohai Sea during past 20 years[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2180-z
Citation: Xuyan Li, Jinzhao Xiang, Liudi Zhu, Zhibin Yang, Ting Wei, Bing Mu, Xiaobo Zhang, Tingwei Cui. Satellite-observed significant improvement in nearshore transparency of the Bohai Sea during past 20 years[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2180-z

Satellite-observed significant improvement in nearshore transparency of the Bohai Sea during past 20 years

doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2180-z
Funds:  The fund supported by Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai) under contract No. SML2021SP313; the fundamental research funds for the Central Universities of Sun Yat-sen University under contract No. 23xkjc019; the fund supported China-Korea Joint Ocean Research Center of China under contract No. PI-2022-1-01.
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  • The Bohai Sea (BS) is the unique semi-closed inland sea of China, characterized by degraded water quality due to significant terrestrial pollution input. In order to improve its water quality, a dedicated action named “Uphill Battles for Integrated Bohai Sea Management” (UBIBSM, 2018–2020) was implemented by the Chinese government. To evaluate the action effectiveness toward water quality improvement, variability of the satellite-observed water transparency (Secchi disk depth, ZSD) was explored, with special emphasis on the nearshore waters (within 20 km from the coastline) prone to terrestrial influence. (1) Compared to the status before the action began (2011–2017), majority (87.3%) of the nearshore waters turned clear during the action implementation period (2018–2020), characterized by the elevated ZSD by 11.6%±12.1%. (2) Nevertheless, the improvement was not spatially uniform, with higher ZSD improvement in provinces of Hebei, Liaoning, and Shandong (13.2%±16.5%, 13.2%±11.6%, 10.8%±10.2%, respectively) followed by Tianjin (6.2%±4.7%). (3) Bayesian trend analysis found the abrupt ZSD improvement in April 2018, which coincided with the initiation of UBIBSM, implying the water quality response to pollution control. More importantly, the independent statistics of land-based pollutant discharge also indicated that the significant reduction of terrestrial pollutant input during the UBIBSM action was the main driver of observed ZSD improvement. (4) Compared with previous pollution control actions in the BS, UBIBSM was found to be the most successful one during the past 20 years, in terms of transparency improvement over nearshore waters. The presented results proved the UBIBSM-achieved remarkable water quality improvement, taking the advantage of long-term consistent and objective data record from satellite ocean color observation.
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.
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