Shelfbreak upwelling induced by alongshorecurrents: analytical and numerical results.

Published in Journal of Fluid Mechanics, v. 686:239-249

Miller, R., Matano, R.P. and Palma, E.D.

Publication year 2011
  • College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-5503, USA
  • INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes, Laboratoire Jean Kuntzman, 38041 Grenoble, France 
  • Departmento de Fisica, Universidad Nacional del Sur and Instituto Arg


IAI Program


IAI Project CRN3070


Alongshore flow in the direction of propagation of coastal trapped waves can result
in upwelling at the shelfbreak. The intensity of this upwelling can be comparable in
magnitude to wind-driven coastal upwelling, with its associated ecological features.
Recent numerical experiments by Matano & Palma indicate that this upwelling results
from convergence of Ekman transport at the shelfbreak. The mechanism for this
phenomenon can be understood in terms of steady solutions to the shallow water
equations in the presence of Coriolis force and bottom drag. Matano & Palma
interpreted their numerical results in terms of the arrested topographic wave, but did
not present direct comparisons. Here we present a family of analytical solutions to the
equations of the arrested topographic wave that shows striking quantitative agreement
with earlier numerical results.