Steady wind-driven flow along a shelf of changing width is described with a frictional barotropic model valid in the limit of small Rossby and Burger number. In these limits, an alongshore wind drives enhanced onshelf transport in a coastal ocean if the shelf widens downwind, and the change in shelf width only affects the flow in the direction of Kelvin wave propagation ("downwave'') from the change in shelf width. There is enhanced onshore transport of cold, nutrient-laden bottom water if the winds favor upwelling and the shelf narrows in the direction of Kelvin wave propagation. This enhanced transport extends a considerable distance away from the change in shelf width but becomes concentrated near the shelf break far from the change in width. Isobath curvature on the scale of the shelf width significantly modifies local cross-shelf transport. The cross-shelf transport of nutrient-rich water during upwelling is expected to be enhanced from Point Eugenia to La Jolla, San Luis Obispo to Monterey, and Point Reyes to Cape Mendocino on the west coast of North America.
Journal of Physical Oceanography
AMER METEOROLOGICAL SOC
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Pringle, J M., "Enhancement of wind-driven upwelling and downwelling by alongshore bathymetric variability" (2002). Earth Sciences Scholarship. 11.
Copyright 2002 American Meteorological Society