Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1986

DOI

10.1029/JC091iC07p08470

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

Volume

91

Issue

C7

Pages

8470-8486

Abstract

Observations and numerical simulations of upwelling along the Galician coast of Spain during April 1982 are presented. In situ measurements include shipboard determinations of hydrographic and biological parameters from a grid of stations covering the continental shelf from Cape Finisterre to Ria de Vigo, sea level data from Vigo and La Coruña, and wind stress estimates derived from the ship winds and from surface pressure charts. Sea surface temperature information and pigment concentration information have been obtained from a sequence of satellite images from the NOAA 7 advanced very high resolution radiometer and the Nimbus 7 coastal zone color scanner, respectively. Since the Cape Finisterre sector of the Iberian peninsula is characterized by an abrupt change in coastline orientation, wind‐driven upwelling can occur in that region over a 270° range of wind direction. These data document the evolution of upwelling and the resultant coastal circulation in response to two wind events that occurred over a 10‐day period. Salient features of the circulation include a southward coastal jet and a northward flow further offshore along the western coast. Numerical simulations of the coastal currents, the vertical excursion of a density interface from a static equilibrium position, and coastal sea level are conducted using a wind patch characterized by constant direction and negative curl. The simulations show that during these wind events, the greatest upwelling will occur either at Cape Finisterre or along the northern coast as was observed in this case and as has been reported by others. It is suggested on the basis of the analysis of the sea level records and on the numerical simulations that wave disturbances propagate northward along the coast at a speed of 120–160 km/day. Finally, it is speculated that much of the organic material formed during upwelling events north of the Cape Finisterre is advected out to sea northwest of the cape.

Comments

© 1986 by the American Geophysical Union

"Adopted by Council 13 December 2009

AGU allows authors to deposit their journal articles if the version is the final published citable version of record, the AGU copyright statement is clearly visible on the posting, and the posting is made 6 months after official publication by the AGU."

Original Publication Citation

McClain, C. R., Chao, S. Y., Atkinson, L. P., Blanton, J. O., & Decastillejo, F. (1986). Wind-driven upwelling in the vicinity of Cape Finisterre, Spain. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 91(C7), 8470-8486. doi:10.1029/JC091iC07p08470

ORCID

0000-0003-2919-100X (Atkinson)

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