Surface waters of the NW Iberian margin: Upwelling on the shelf versus outwelling of upwelled waters from the Rias Baixas

Citation
Xa. Alvarez-salgado et al., Surface waters of the NW Iberian margin: Upwelling on the shelf versus outwelling of upwelled waters from the Rias Baixas, EST COAST S, 51(6), 2000, pp. 821-837
Citations number
63
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Aquatic Sciences
Journal title
ESTUARINE COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE
ISSN journal
0272-7714 → ACNP
Volume
51
Issue
6
Year of publication
2000
Pages
821 - 837
Database
ISI
SICI code
0272-7714(200012)51:6<821:SWOTNI>2.0.ZU;2-N
Abstract
A set of hydrographic surveys were carried out in the Ria of Vigo (NW Spain ) at 2-4 d intervals during four 2-3 week periods in 1997, covering contras ting seasons. Residual exchange fluxes with the adjacent shelf were estimat ed with a 2-D, non-steady-state, salinity-temperature weighted box model. E xchange fluxes consist of a steady-state term (dependent on the variability of continental runoff) and a non-steady-state term (dependent on the time changes of density gradients in the embayment). More than 95% of the short- time-scale variability of the exchange fluxes in the middle and outer ria c an be explained by the non-steady-state term that, in turns, is correlated (R-2>75%) with the offshore Ekman transport. Conversely, 96% of the variabi lity of exchange fluxes in the inner ria rely on the steady-state term. The outer and middle ria are under the direct influence of coastal upwelling, which enhances the positive residual circulation pattern by an order of mag nitude: from 10(2) to 10(3) m(3) s(-1). On the contrary, downwelling provok es a reversal of the circulation in the outer ria. The position of the down welling front along the embayment depends on the relative importance of Ekm an transport (Q(x), m(3) s(-1) km(-1)) and continental runoff (R, m(3) s(-1 )). When Q(x)/R>7+/-2 the reversal of the circulation affects the middle ri a. Our results are representative for the 'Rias Baixas', four large coastal indentations in NW Spain. During the upwelling season (spring and summer), 60% of shelf surface waters off the 'Rias Baixas' consist of fresh Eastern North Atlantic Central Water (ENACW) upwelled in situ. The remaining 40% c onsists of upwelled ENACW that previously enters the rias and it is subsequ ently outwelled after thermohaline modification. During the downwelling sea son (autumn and winter), 40% of the warm and salty oceanic subtropic surfac e water, which piled on the shelf by the predominant southerly winds, enter s the rias. (C) 2000 Academic Press.