Articles | Volume 12, issue 3
Research article
01 Jul 2016
Research article |  | 01 Jul 2016

Upwelling characteristics in the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea) as revealed by Ferrybox measurements in 2007–2013

Villu Kikas and Urmas Lips

Abstract. Ferrybox measurements have been carried out between Tallinn and Helsinki in the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea) on a regular basis since 1997. The system measures autonomously water temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a fluorescence and turbidity and takes water samples for further analyses at a predefined time interval. We aimed to show how the Ferrybox technology could be used to study the coastal upwelling events in the Gulf of Finland. Based on the introduced upwelling index and related criteria, 33 coastal upwelling events were identified in May–September 2007–2013. The number of events, as well as the frequency of their occurrence and intensity expressed as a sum of daily average temperature deviations in the 20 km wide coastal area, were almost equal near the northern and southern coasts. Nevertheless, the wind impulse, which was needed to generate upwelling events of similar intensity, differed between the northern and southern coastal areas. It is suggested that the general thermohaline structure adapted to the prevailing forcing and the estuarine character of the basin weaken the upwelling created by the westerly to southwesterly (up-estuary) winds and strengthen the upwelling created by the easterly to northeasterly (down-estuary) winds. Two types of upwelling events were identified – one characterized by a strong temperature front and the other revealing gradual decrease in temperature from the open sea to the coastal area, with maximum temperature deviation close to the shore.