Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO, UM 110, UMR 7294), CNRS, Aix-Marseille University, University of Toulon, IRD, 13288 Marseille, France
Abstract. Cross-shelf processes drive the exchange of water between the continental shelf and western boundary currents, leading to the import and export of heat, freshwater, sediments, nutrients, plankton, fish larvae, and other properties. Upwelling is an important process which modulates those exchanges. It regulates primary productivity, which in turn promotes higher trophic levels and fisheries. In this paper, we investigate upwelling events in the East Australian Current (EAC) intensification zone off Southeast Queensland through the analysis of remotely-sensed Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and Sea Surface Temperature (SST) as well as wind and ocean reanalysis products. A particular focus is on identifying the likely mechanisms that drive upwelling events during the austral autumn to winter which are evident from cold SST and enhanced Chl-a concentrations. Four complementary Upwelling Indices (UIs) are derived. Chl-a (UIChla) and SST (UISST) based indices characterize the oceanic response to upwelling, while indices based on wind (UIw) and current (UIc) data capture the forcing of upwelling. The spatial and temporal variability of all UIs is examined over the continental shelf. It reveals distinct seasonal patterns. For the northern region, UIs identify the well-known Southeast Fraser Island Upwelling System. It prevails during the austral spring to early summer and is driven by current- and upwelling favourable wind. In contrast, upwelling is enhanced over the southern shelf during austral autumn to winter. About 70 % of all UISST and UIChla identified upwelling events occur during this period. A case study is presented that provides observational evidence for the existence of a shelf-break upwelling. Simultaneous downwelling favourable wind stress and upwelling favourable current-driven bottom stress establish a flow convergence in the bottom boundary layer (BBL). These convergent BBL flows force upwelling of cold and nutrient-rich slope waters as evident from negative SST anomaly and enhanced Chl-a in austral autumn to winter. It is evident from these results that the shelf region is characterised by two distinct seasonally reoccurring upwelling regimes.
This preprint has been withdrawn.
How to cite. Azis Ismail, M. F., Ribbe, J., Karstensen, J., and Rossi, V.: Remote sensing of upwelling off Australia's north-east coast, Ocean Sci. Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-142, 2019.
Received: 13 Dec 2018 – Discussion started: 09 Jan 2019