Remote sensing of upwelling off Australia's north-east coast

Azis Ismail, Mochamad Furqon and Ribbe, Joachim ORCID: and Karstensen, Johannes and Rossi, Vincent (2019) Remote sensing of upwelling off Australia's north-east coast. Ocean Science. ISSN 1812-0784

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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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences (1 Jul 2013 - 5 Sep 2019)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences (1 Jul 2013 - 5 Sep 2019)
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2019 04:39
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2022 00:28
Uncontrolled Keywords: remote sensing, upwelling, East Australian Current, chlorophyll, sea surface temperature
Fields of Research (2008): 04 Earth Sciences > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Fields of Research (2020): 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3708 Oceanography > 370803 Physical oceanography
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961102 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Coastal and Estuarine Environments
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