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Análisis comparativo de eventos de afloramiento y afloramiento de verano en el NO de España


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Comparative Analysis of Summer Upwelling and Downwelling Events in NW Spain: A Model-Observations Approach

Upwelling and downwelling processes play a critical role in the connectivity between o shore waters and coastal ecosystems, having relevant implications in terms of intense biogeochemical activity and global fisheries production. A variety of in situ and remote-sensing networks were used in concert with the Iberia–Biscay–Ireland (IBI) circulation forecast system, in order to investigate two persistent upwelling and downwelling events that occurred in the Northwestern (NW) Iberian coastal system during summer 2014. Special emphasis was placed on quality-controlled surface currents provided by a high-frequency radar (HFR), since this land-based technology can e ectively monitor the upper layer flow over broad coastal areas in near-real time.

The low-frequency spatiotemporal response of the ocean was explored in terms of wind-induced currents’ structures and immediacy of reaction. Mean kinetic energy, divergence and vorticity maps were also calculated for
upwelling and downwelling favorable events, in order to verify HFR and IBI capabilities, to accurately resolve the prevailing surface circulation features, such as the locus of a persistent upwelling maximum in the vicinity of Cape Finisterre. This integrated approach proved to be well-founded to eciently portray the three-dimensional characteristics of the NW Iberian coastal upwelling system regardless of few shortcomings detected in IBI performance, such as the misrepresentation of the most energetic
surface dynamics or the overestimation of the cooling and warming associated with upwelling and downwelling conditions, respectively.

Finally, the variability of the NW Iberian upwelling system was characterized by means of the development of a novel ocean-based coastal upwelling index (UI), constructed from HFR-derived hourly surface current observations (UIHFR). The proposed UIHFR was validated against two traditional UIs for 2014, to assess its credibility. Results suggest that UIHFR
was able to adequately categorize and characterize a wealth of summer upwelling and downwelling events of diverse length and strength, paving the way for future investigations of the subsequent biophysical implications.

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