Modelling Ocean Upwelling Systems – From Physics to Fish to Economies to Societies

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Ocean Science in Action - Oceans of the future

3. Introduction to global Ocean Modelling

3.3 Modelling Ocean Upwelling Systems – From Physics to Fish to Economies to Societies

Video duration - 06:40

Upwelling systems are special places in the oceans where nutrient-enriched water is brought to the sunlit surface to fuel phytoplankton blooms which lie at the base of the marine food webs. Upwelling sustains rich and productive ecosystems as well as societies and economies dependent on them.

Upwelling is an upward movement of water which is maintained long enough to lift water parcels over a vertical distance of about 100 meters or more. To achieve such a displacement in the ocean, this period of vertical movement needs to last from several days to weeks.

There are many types of ocean upwellings. Some are driven by combined action of the winds and rotation of the planet, such as coastal or equatorial upwelling. There are many other types of upwelling, driven by other mechanisms. These include large-scale wind-driven upwelling in the ocean interior; the upwelling associated with mesoscale ocean feature such as eddies and meanders; topographically-driven upwelling such as that occurring around seamounts; broad diffusive upwelling in the ocean interior; ice-edge upwelling; “dynamic uplift” or the shelf edge upwelling which occurs when a current flowing along the shelf accelerates; tidally-induced upwelling; and the upwelling found in the wake of islands, which is usually well-known to local fishermen.

Dr K. Popova - NOC

Further Reading:

Kämpf, J., Chapman, P. , 2016. Upwelling Systems of the World: A Scientific Journey to the Most Productive Marine Ecosystems.Springer, 433 pp.,

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