Statistical characteristics of chlorophylla concentration in Hong Kong' s coastal waters

X. Chen, Y. Li, Zhilin Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


In this paper seven of the ten Water Control Zones (WCZs) in Hong Kong’s coastal waters with monthly or bi-weekly sampling data of 17 parameters collected at 37 monitoring stations from 1988 to 1999 were selected to analyze the spatial and temporal variations of chlorophyll-a and its influencing factors. Cluster analysis was employed to group the monitoring stations based on the structure of the data set. Multiple step regression was employed to determine the significant influencing factors of chlorophyll-a level. The results suggest that all the monitoring stations could be grouped into two clusters. Cluster I with frequent red tide incidents comprises two WCZs which are semi-enclosed bays. Cluster II with less red tide occurrence comprises the other five WCZs in an estuarine environment in the west. For both clusters, the organic contents indicator, BOD5, was a common significant influencing factor of the chlorophyll-a level. Nitrogen and light penetration condition related to turbidity, total volatile solids and suspended solids had more influence on the cholophyll-a level in Cluster I than in Cluster II, while phosphorus and oceanographic conditions associated with salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH were more important in Cluster II than in Cluster I. Generally, there was a higher average chlorophyll-a level in winter and autumn in a year. The chlorophyll-a level was much higher in Cluster I than in Cluster II among all seasons. Although the chlorophyll-a concentration had great variations from place to place in Hong Kong’s coastal waters, it seemed to have a common long term fluctuation period of 8–10 years with a high-low-high variation in the period in the whole region, which might be influenced by other factors of global scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-342
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of geographical sciences (Acta geographica sinica)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Hong Kong' s coastal waters
  • Chlorophyll-a concentration
  • Spatial-temporal variations
  • X144

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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