Free Content A continental shelf upwelling event off Vancouver Island as revealed by satellite infrared imagery

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A series of nine relatively cloud-free infrared satellite images, of the coastal ocean off Vancouver Island, reveals the evolution of sea-surface temperature patterns during a 16-day period of upwelling favorable winds in the summer of 1980. Early in the upwelling event, the cold water in the north was restricted to a narrow band, while in the south cold surface water extended out to the continental shelf break. This southern feature is believed to be an expression of a semipermanent, cold cyclonic eddy (Freeland and Denman, 1982). As upwelling continued, the cold water boundary propagated offshore at about 10 km/day eventually passing beyond the shelf break. Short-lived (2–3 days) meanders were observed in the northern front with length scales consistent with variations in local bottom topography and coastline irregularities. After wind reduction, the coldest band parted the coast and propagated offshore.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1984

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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