Science Highlights

Inter-group workshop at GZ HKUST FYTRI

OCEAN_HK  Project Coordinator, Prof Jianping Gan, held an inter-group workshop in Guangzhou HKUST Fok Ying Tung Research Institute (FYTRI) from 27 December to 29 December 2017.


First year of  the project has completed in satisfied outcome and is progressing on the right track. This  workshop aims at reviewing last year works and plan for coming year. Meanwhile, all research staff and students grabbed this precious opportunity to brainstorm and had a detailed scientific discussion on ocean science.

Piloting cruise in Hong Kong water has been concluded with satisfactory result


The cruise in Hong Kong water has lasted for 8 days, from 12th August to 19th August, and contains 59 stations in Hong Kong waters. It is a one-way and daytime cruise from the west to the east of Hong Kong water. The aim of this cruise is to understand the impact of circulation and biogeochemistry processes in the Pearl River Estuary and shelf seas to ocean water environment in Hong Kong.

Parameters including but not limited to biological variables, biogeochemical variables, micro-pollutants volume, hydrographical variables and physical variables have been measured. Integrated data has been collected and it will be useful to project team to diagnose eutrophication and hypoxia condition in Hong Kong water.

Thanks to all the collaboration among groups  and hard works from all team members, the first year high-resolution repeated mapping in the Pearl River Estuary, the shelf seas in the northern South China Sea and Hong Kong water have been completed in satisfactory result.




The piloting cruise in PRE and SLF areas has been completed successfully

img_0426_easy-resize-comOCEAN_HK conducted the high-resolution repeated mapping cruise in July 2017. The cruise was chaired by Dr. Liu Zhiqiang and involved researchers from universities from Hong Kong and Mainland China, including the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong University, City University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Xiamen University.

The cruise in Pearl River Estuary (PRE) has been conducted from 1 July to 5 July. Another cruise has been conducted in the shelf sea in the northern South China Sea (SLF) from 10 July to 31 July, in total 27 days.

The completion of this large-scaled cruise indicated the high level of scientific research ability of our project team and it is a milestone of Hong Kong Oceanographic research.

Another research cruise will start soon in Hong Kong water area in August for better understanding of the hypoxia problem in Hong Kong.


The other part of project OCEAN_HK is the time-series monitoring with moorings by deploy an array of mooring concurrently to measure the time series of physical, biogeochemical, and pollutant variables. Our first marine monitoring buoy system has been successfully deployed in the river-estuary-shelf (RES) on 11 July.


First Piloting Cruise will start in July

OCEAN_HK is going to have the first cruise in coming July in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) and over the adjacent shelf. A high-resolution repeated mapping will be conducted over an approximately 13,000 km2 area of the river-estuary-shelf (RES) throughout the whole July, to identify spatiotemporal biophysical responses to variable physical and biogeochemical forcing.

OCEAN_HK will deploy a small research vessel in the estuary (Fig. 1) and a large research vessel in the adjacent shelf (Fig.2).


Fig.1. A 8-day cruise will be conducted in PRE with 32 stations.


Fig.2. A 24-day cruise will be conducted in RES with 83 stations.


The objectives of this cruise is to identify the status and variability of the eutrophication and hypoxia condition in the coastal ocean surrounding Hong Kong, and its response to physical; and biogeochemical processes in the study area, and to analysis the impact of riverine and oceanic processes on summer ocean conditions in the hypoxia areas surrounding Hong Kong.

The parameters to be measured in the repeated mapping included ocean currents, hydrographic and meteorological variables, biogeochemical variables, and micro-pollutants associated with eutrophication, hypoxia, and HABs etc. We will also measure physical parameters (e.g. velocity profile, particle size and settling velocity) in sediment and quantify its fluxes of nutrient and particulate OM.

In order to well prepare for the cruise, OCEAN_HK hold a cruise meeting on 17 May 2017 in Shenzhen. It was attended by all cruise members from involved Universities, including HKUST, HKU, PolyU, CityU and Xiamen University. Each party presented their cruise plans in details and there was an active discussion among all participants to ensure a better cooperation between groups during the cruise.


Symposium on OCEAN_HK 2017 completed successfully

Symposium on Ocean Circulation, Ecosystem, HypoxiA and CoNsequences (OCEAN) was successfully held from 23 February to 25 February 2017 at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. This symposium is organized by the OCEAN-HK Theme-based Research Scheme project, and co-organized by National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), HKUST School of Science, HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) and State Key Lab in Marine Pollution, City University of Hong Kong.


This symposium was attended by over 100 scientists, professionals and specialists, from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, United States and other countries/ regions. The 3-day symposium had 38 speakers delivered speeches and led discussion related to the eutrophication and hypoxia problem in Pearl River estuary.  It provided a platform for interdisciplinary scientific discussions, and these high-level discussions definitely brought huge inspiration to the OCEAN-HK project.


Prof. Yang Wang, Dean of Science in HKUST, represented HKUST to welcome all participants for joining the symposium.


Symposium on OCEAN was held in IAS Lecture Theater, Lo Ka Chung Building in HKUST.


Prof. Jim McWilliams from Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of California, Los Angeles, lectured on topic: “Modeling hypoxia and acidification off the west coast of North America” on 23 Feb morning.


(Prof. Dai Minhan from State Key Lab of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University)

Related coverage:
(National Natural Science Foundation of China)

Scientists from National Taiwan University visited HKUST


The director of Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University (NTU), Prof. Ching-Ling Wei, and his colleagues, Prof. Sen Jan, Prof. Su-Chen Pai, Prof. Chih-Lin Wei, and Prof. Ming-Huei Chang, visited the Hong Kong University of  Science and Technology (HKUST) from Dec. 5 to Dec. 6, 2016. Prof. Jianping Gan, the Project Coordinator, Prof. Peiyuan Qian, Prof. Wenxiong Wang, Prof. Stanley Lau, and Prof. Karen Chan attended the meeting with scientists from NTU. The both team introduced the organization of the Institute of Oceanography and Environmental Sciences Programs, respectively, and discussed the schemes for further collaboration to promote the study of ocean environment in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Scientists from NTU also presented the buoy system they used to monitor the ocean environment, and agreed to closely cooperate with HKUST to promote the installation of the realtime monitoring system in Hong Kong waters.

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