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To understand the scales of the spatial distribution and temporal duration of the subsurface chlorophyll-a maximum (SCM) observed in the Ulleung Basin of the East Sea, we analyzed physical and chemical data collected during the East Asian Seas Time-series-I (EAST-I) program. The SCM layer occurred at several observation lines from the Korea Strait to 37.9oN in the Ulleung Basin during August of 2008 and 2011. At each observation line, the SCM layer extended from the coast to about 200 km off the coast. The SCM layer was observed between 30 and 40 m depth in the Ulleung Basin as well as in the northwestern Japan Basin along 132.3oE from 38oN to 42.3oN during July 2009, and was observed around 50 m depth in the northeastern Japan Basin (135-140oE and 40-45oN) during July 2010. From these observed features, we hypothesize that the SCM layer observed in the Ulleung Basin may exist in most of the East Sea and may last for at least half-year (from the early May to late October). The nutrient supply mechanism for prolonged the SCM layer in the East Sea was not known, but it may be closely related to the horizontal advection of the nutrient rich and low oxygen waters observed in the Korea Strait between a 50 m depth to near the bottom. The prolonged development of the SCM layer in the Ulleung Basin may result in high primary production and would also be responsible for the high organic carbon content observed in the surface sediment of the region.