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Application of remote sensing to the study of coastal upwelling

Remote sensing has been applied to the study of coastal upwelling off Northwest Africa, for describing temporal both and spatial distribution. The analysis of temporal and spatial variability of coastal upwelling has been finalized. The latest development of the analysis included a quantification of the relationship between the upwelling indices derived from sea surface temperature (SST) images and meteorological data, respectively. The SST database has been updated so that more than 10 years of SST observations are available. The total number of images now exceeds 5000. Remote sensing data and a hydrodynamics model have been used in a separate study of cross shelf transport in an area off Mauritania. This particular study was carried out with the purpose of examining in detail the vertical structure and the turbulence characteristics in the upper layer of the ocean during coastal upwelling events. The model has been forced with European centre for medium range weather forecasting (ECMWF) winds, and the crosshelf distribution of temperature extracted at regular time intervals. During the same period several satellite images were available and the surface distribution of temperature was compared to the model results. The combined use of remote sensing and model contributed to the understanding of coastal upwelling as a wind driven phenomenon.

Reported by

Joint Research Centre, Ispra
21020 Ispra
Italy
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