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Coastal upwelling off North‐West Africa

AuthorsPelegrí, Josep Lluís ; Benazzouz, Aïssa
KeywordsCoastal upwelling
Recirculation cells
Canary upwelling current
Poleward undercurrent
Canary current large marine ecosystem
Northwest Africa
Issue Date2015
PublisherInstituto Español de Oceanografía
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
CitationOceanographic and biological features in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem 3(4): 93-103 (2015)
IOC Technical Series 115(3): 93-103 (2015)
AbstractNorth of Cape Blanc, the north‐easterly winds cause offshore flow of surface waters that are replaced by subsurface inflow of relatively cold and nutrient‐rich waters, driving the vertical cell of coastal upwelling. This vertical circulation, together with surface heating and horizontal mixing, causes the coastal upwelling front (typically about 200 m deep) that separates cold onshore from warm offshore waters. A southward baroclinic coastal jet is associated to this front, which causes vertical shear and mixing that contribute to the intensity of the vertical cell. Very importantly, this jet feeds from upstream waters, resulting in an along‐slope coherent flow, or the horizontal cell of coastal upwelling - this is the Canary Upwelling Current (CUC) that connects all surface coastal African waters north of Cape Blanc. Further south, because of the northward offshore flow and the seasonality of the winds, the connection remains only during winter and spring, very close to shelf break and in the top 100 m. North of Cape Blanc, a Poleward Undercurrent (PUC) flows in the relatively homogenous upwelled waters that found over the continental slope. South of Cape Blanc the PUC appears as a nearshore expression of the Mauritania Current. Both the southward CUC and the northward PUC constitute the true skeleton of the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem
Description11 pages, 13 figures
Publisher version (URL)https://en.unesco.org/news/oceanographic-and-biological-features-canary-current-large-marine-ecosystem
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Libros y partes de libros
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