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Combined effect of wind-forcing and isobath divergence on upwelling at Cape Bathurst, Beaufort Sea

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Cape Bathurst is at the northeastern end of the Canadian Beaufort Shelf in the southeastern Beaufort Sea where the continental shelf abruptly ends at Amundsen Gulf. In this area, the steep slope east of the cape joins the relatively flat shelf immediately north of the cape leading to strong isobath divergence at the cape. Hydrographic and satellite data show upwelling of nutrient-rich, Pacific-origin water to the surface at Cape Bathurst when surface stress is upwelling-favorable for the Canadian Beaufort Shelf. We suggest that this enhanced upwelling is forced by the adjustment of the along-shelf flow (that is part of upwelling circulation) to the isobath divergence at the cape. Mooring and drifter data near Cape Bathurst also support this, showing swift, surface-intensified along-isobath flow during upwelling-favorable surface stress. Benthic samples near the cape show high numbers and diversity of organisms which suggest that nutrients brought to the surface by upwelling allow additional primary production in the region that ultimately feeds the benthos.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2008

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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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