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Free Content 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.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, 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. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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