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Encyclopedia > Upwelling

Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of dense, cooler, and usually nutrient-rich water towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-depleted surface water. There are at least five types of upwelling: coastal upwelling, large-scale wind-driven upwelling in the ocean interior, upwelling associated with eddies, topographically-associated upwelling, and broad-diffusive upwelling in the ocean interior. Image File history File links Information. ... World Oceans Physical oceanography is the study of physical conditions and physical processes within the ocean, especially the motions and physical properties of ocean waters. ...

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Coastal Upwelling

Coastal upwelling is the best known type of upwelling, and the most closely related to human activities as it supports some of the most productive fisheries in the world, like small pelagics (sardines, anchovies, etc.). Deep waters are rich in nutrients which include nitrate and phosphate, themselves the result of decomposition of sinking organic matter (dead/detrital plankton) from surface waters. When brought to the surface, these nutrients are utilized by phytoplankton, along with dissolved CO2 (carbon dioxide) and light energy from the sun, to produce organic compounds, through the process of photosynthesis. Upwelling regions therefore result in very high levels of primary production (the amount of carbon fixed by phytoplankton) in comparison to other areas of the ocean. High primary production propagates up the food chain because phytoplankton are at the base of the oceanic food chain. Regions of upwelling include coastal Peru, Chile, Arabian Sea, western South Africa, eastern New Zealand and the California coast. Trinitrate redirects here. ... Above is a ball-and-stick model of the inorganic hydrogenphosphate anion (HPO42−). Colour coding: P (orange); O (red); H (white). ... “Spoilage” redirects here. ... Diagrams of some typical phytoplankton Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of plankton. ... Carbon dioxide is an atmospheric gas composed of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. ... Benzene is the simplest of the arenes, a family of organic compounds An organic compound is any member of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon and hydrogen; therefore, carbides, carbonates, carbon oxides and elementary carbon are not organic (see below for more on the definition controversy... The leaf is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants. ... Diagrams of some typical phytoplankton Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of plankton. ... Diagrams of some typical phytoplankton Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of plankton. ... The Arabian Sea (Arabic: بحر العرب; transliterated: Bahr al-Arab) is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui, the north-east point of Somalia... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ...


The key piece of physics that gives rise to coastal upwelling is the Coriolis effect, by which wind-driven currents tend to be driven to the right of the winds in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left of the winds in the Southern Hemisphere. For example, in the northern Hemisphere, when winds blow either equatorward along an eastern ocean boundary or poleward along a western ocean boundary, surface waters are driven away from the coasts (Ekman transport or Ekman spiral) and replaced by denser waters from below. In the inertial frame of reference (upper part of the picture), the black object moves in a straight line. ... Closely related to the Ekman spiral, where winds blowing up and down coastal regions cause a seaward flow of surface water (perpendicular to the flow of wind), which creates the upwelling of deep nutrient rich sea water. ...  Ekman spiral effect. ...


Equatorial upwelling

A related phenomenon is found at the equator, or more precisely, in association with the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which actually moves, and consequently, is often located north or south of the equator. Easterly (westward) winds blowing along the ITCZ in both the Pacific and Atlantic Basins drive water to the right (northwards) in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left (southwards) in the Southern Hemisphere, or if the ITCZ is displaced above the equator, the wind south of it becomes a southwesterly wind which drives water to its right or southeasterly, away from the ITCZ. Whatever its location, this results in a divergence, with denser, nutrient-rich water being upwelled from below, and results in the remarkable fact that the equatorial region in the Pacific can be detected from space as a broad line of high phytoplankton concentration. The thunderstorms of the Intertropical Convergence Zone form a line across the eastern Pacific Ocean. ...


Southern Ocean upwelling

Large-scale upwelling is also found in the Southern Ocean. Here, strong westerly (eastward) winds blow around Antarctica,driving a significant flow of water northwards. This is actually a type of coastal upwelling. Since there are no continents in a band of open latitudes between South America and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, some of this water is drawn up from great depths. In many numerical models and observational syntheses, the Southern Ocean upwelling represents the primary means by which deep dense water is brought to the surface. Shallower, wind-driven upwelling is also found in off the west coasts of North and South America, northwest and southwest Africa, and southwest Australia, all associated with oceanic subtropical high pressure circulations (see coastal upwelling above).


Some models of the ocean circulation suggest that broad-scale upwelling occurs in the tropics, as pressure driven flows converge water toward the low latitudes where it is diffusively warmed from above. The required diffusion coefficients, however, appear to be larger than are observed in the real ocean. Nonetheless, some diffusive upwelling does probably occur.


Localized upwelling may be due to deflection of deep currents by a seamount providing a nutrient rich island in otherwise low productivity ocean areas. These provide islands of life in such areas and are important to migrating species and human fishing. Upwelling can also occur when tropical cyclones stall over an area, moving at speeds of less than 5 mph (8 km/h). The churning of a cyclone eventually draws up cooler water from lower layers of the ocean. This causes the cyclone to weaken. A seamount is a mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the waters surface (sea level), and thus is not an island. ... This article is about weather phenomena. ...


Upwellings also occur in other fluid environments, such as the magma in Earth's mantle or the plasma within a star. They are often a result of convection. Magma is molten rock located beneath the surface of the Earth (or any other terrestrial planet), and which often collects in a magma chamber. ... Earth cutaway from core to exosphere. ... For other uses, see Plasma. ... STAR is an acronym for: Organizations Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers], the self-regulatory body for the entertainment ticket industry in the UK. Society for Telescopy, Astronomy, and Radio, a non-profit New Jersey astronomy club. ... Convection in the most general terms refers to the internal movement of currents within fluids (i. ...


External links

Wind Driven Surface Currents: Upwelling and Downwelling


  Results from FactBites:
 
Upwelling - definition of Upwelling in Encyclopedia (262 words)
Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that occurs when strong, usually seasonal, winds push water away from the coast, bringing cold, nutrient-rich deep waters up to the surface.
Upwellings therefore cause very high levels of productivity in phytoplankton compared to other areas of the ocean, and phytoplancton being the basic nutrient of most sea animals, these effects are propagated up the food chain.
Upwellings also occur in other fluid environments, such as the magma in Earth's mantle or the plasma within a star.
Upwelling - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (670 words)
Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of dense, cooler, and usually nutrient-rich water towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-deplete surface water.
Upwelling regions therefore result in very high levels of primary production (the amount of carbon fixed by phytoplankton) in comparison to other areas of the ocean.
The key piece of physics that gives rise to coastal upwelling is the Coriolis effect, by which wind-driven currents tend to be driven to the right of the winds in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left of the winds in the Southern Hemisphere.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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