China first“artificial upwelling demonstration project”set up by the Ocean College
China’s first artificial upwelling demonstration project in the waters of Aoshan Bay, Shandong Province, has completed its trial phase recently. The project is undertaken by the research team led by FAN Wei, an associate professor from Ocean College.
As of 2017, FAN Wei has committed himself to research into blue carbon in inshore waters in China. “Air-lift artificial upwelling can transport nutrient-rich water at the ocean bottom to the euphotic zone and promote the growth of phytoplankton and algae, thereby boosting primary productivity, restoring the marine ecological environment and improving the capacity of the ocean carbon sink,” said FAN Wei.
With determined and persistent efforts in the past three years, the artificial upwelling demonstration project has been completed. The project covers an area of over 30 hectares and it has multiple functions, including a large-scale in situ supply platform for ocean energy, a big data and automatic control center, a monitoring system for the marine environment and the carbon sink, an artificial upwelling system and a large-scale algae breeding system. “The artificial upwelling system can effectively increase the surface nutrient concentration of at least 300 hectares due to the effect of the tides, adjust the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus to increase productivity by promoting the photosynthesis of large algae and remove carbon dioxide in seawater, thereby achieving the ocean carbon sink,” FAN Wei introduced, “The project has been in safe operation for 20 months. During this period, it has undergone three typhoons and one cyclone. Its reliability and efficiency have been tested.”
The artificial upwelling demonstration project will lay a theoretical and technological foundation for the ocean carbon sink and provide considerable support for China’s response to climate negotiations and development of low-carbon economy.