Differential bleaching of corals based on El Niño type and intensity in the Andaman Sea, southeast Bay of Bengal

  • J. K. Lix
  • R. Venkatesan
  • George Grinson
  • R. R. Rao
  • V. K. Jineesh
  • Muthiah M. Arul
  • G. Vengatesan
  • S. Ramasundaram
  • R. Sundar
  • M. A. Atmanand


The Andaman coral reef region experienced mass bleaching events during 1998 and 2010. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of the El Niño in the coral reef bleaching events of the Andaman region. Both Niño 3.4 and 3 indices were examined to find out the relationship between the mass bleaching events and El Niño, and correlated with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the Andaman Sea. The result shows that abnormal warming and mass bleaching events in the Andaman Sea were seen only during strong El Niño years of 1997–1998 and 2009–2010. The Andaman Sea SST was more elevated and associated with El Niño Modoki (central Pacific El Niño) than conventional El Niño (eastern Pacific El Niño) occurrences. It is suggested that the development of hot spot patterns around the Andaman Islands during May 1998 and April–May 2010 may be attributed to zonal shifts in the Walker circulation driven by El Niño during the corresponding period.


Coral reefs Bleaching Sea surface temperature Hot spot El Niño Indian Ocean 



We thank the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, for funding this project and the members of the National Expert committee for evolving the National Data Buoy programme. We also thank the staff of the Ocean Observation Systems Group of NIOT. We express our gratitude to the Department of Environment and Forest, Andaman & Nicobar Administration and Andaman & Nicobar Centre for Ocean Science and Technology-Ocean Science and Technology for Islands of NIOT. The authors would like to acknowledge Scientists and Director, Central Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair for their inputs on coral studies. Help rendered in by Rahul G Kumar, NBFGR Unit, Kochi is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. K. Lix
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Venkatesan
    • 1
  • George Grinson
    • 3
  • R. R. Rao
    • 1
    • 4
  • V. K. Jineesh
    • 5
  • Muthiah M. Arul
    • 1
  • G. Vengatesan
    • 1
  • S. Ramasundaram
    • 1
  • R. Sundar
    • 1
  • M. A. Atmanand
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Ocean TechnologyChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Cochin University of Science and TechnologyKochiIndia
  3. 3.Central Marine Fisheries Research InstituteKochiIndia
  4. 4.Indian Institute of Tropical MeteorologyPuneIndia
  5. 5.National Institute of OceanographyKochiIndia

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