Normally, this upwelling process occurs at a rate of about 5–10 meters per day, but the rate and proximity of upwelling to the coast can be changed due to the strength and distance of the wind.
What is the Northern California Marine upwelling?
Spring upwelling along the California margin brings cold, nutrient-rich waters from the deep Pacific Ocean into the coastal zone. This has the paired effects of (1) driving a strong, seasonal peak in marine ecosystem productivity & biodiversity, and (2) cooling the adjacent US West Coast (Fig. 1).
What is the California countercurrent?
The Southern California Counter-current brings warm water from Baja California up along the mainland coast, swirling around Santa Barbara, Anacapa, and eastern Santa Cruz Islands. … Upwelling occurs when winds parallel to the coast and the rotation of the earth work together to push warmer surface water offshore.
Is the California Current deep?
The California current is the eastern boundary current of the North Pacific Gyre, running southward from British Columbia, Canada to Baja California, Mexico. Western boundary currents flow deeper and stronger than eastern boundary currents. …
Why is the water so cold in California?
The water along the coast of California is cold for a couple of reasons. First, the California Current brings cold water from Alaska southward along the coast. And second, cold water from the deep ocean comes up to the surface through a process called upwelling. … So water from the deep ocean is sucked to the surface.
Is the California Current strong or weak?
One example are the nitrogen isotope ratios in macroalgae. California current is a very wide, cold and strong current. It runs southward down North America.
Why is California coast so productive?
The waters along the west coast of North America are some of the most biologically productive in the world. As a result, cooler, nutrient-rich water rises up from the depths to take its place—a process known as upwelling. …
How does California Current affect climate?
The California Current moves less water than the Gulf Stream does. But the California Current has a big effect on the climate of the West Coast of the United States. … Usually, the climate along the West Coast is cooler than the climate of inland areas at the same latitude and elevation.
Where does strong upwelling occur?
Upwelling is most common along the west coast of continents (eastern sides of ocean basins). In the Northern Hemisphere, upwelling occurs along west coasts (e.g., coasts of California, Northwest Africa) when winds blow from the north (causing Ekman transport of surface water away from the shore).
Where does upwelling process most likely occur?
Upwelling occurs in the open ocean and along coastlines. The reverse process, called “downwelling,” also occurs when wind causes surface water to build up along a coastline and the surface water eventually sinks toward the bottom.
What is upwelling caused by?
Upwelling is a process in which currents bring deep, cold water to the surface of the ocean. Upwelling is a result of winds and the rotation of the Earth. The Earth rotates on its axis from west to east. Because of this rotation, winds tend to veer right in the northern hemisphere and left in the southern hemisphere.
Does El Nino cause upwelling?
El Niño also has a strong effect on marine life off the Pacific coast. During normal conditions, upwelling brings water from the depths to the surface; this water is cold and nutrient rich. During El Niño, upwelling weakens or stops altogether.
How does upwelling affect weather?
Again, deeper water comes to the surface bringing with it nutrients and cooler water temperatures. In some places, upwelling can even affect the weather. In places such as San Francisco, the cool water temperatures brought by upwelling can cause air temperatures to drop and result in even more dense fog.
How does downwelling occur?
Downwelling occurs when the water on the surface of the sea becomes denser than the water beneath it and so it sinks. Seawater gets denser when it gets colder or saltier. … Most downwelling happens at the poles.
How deep is the ocean off of California?
The average ocean depth is 2.3 miles .
The Spanish Dancer, a type of sea cucumber, hovers at 9,150 feet near the Davidson Seamount off the coast of California. That’s 1.7 miles down! The average depth of the ocean is about 12,100 feet .
Why is Pacific so cold?
It is produced by equatorial trade winds that blow from east to west, piling up warm surface water in the west Pacific, and also pushing surface water away from the equator itself. This makes way for colder waters to well up from the depths, creating the cold tongue.
Which ocean is off the California coast?
Does the California Current flow clockwise?
Garbage that reaches the ocean from the west coast of the United States and from the east coast of Japan is carried by currents—including the California Current, the North Equatorial Current, the North Pacific Current, and the Kuroshio—into the North Pacific subtropical gyre, the clockwise rotation of which draws in …
How big is the California Current?
Together these datasets describe a California Current of 500–800 km width extending along the coast from 43°N to 23°N. The mean southward transport of the California Current is about 5 Sv off Central and Southern California, with about 2.5 Sv of northward flow on its inshore side.
Is the ocean cold in California?
The ocean off of California is actually quite cold, because of the California Current carrying cold water from British Columbia south to southern California. For the same reason, there’s not that much difference between sea surface temperatures off the San Francisco area and off the Los Angeles area.
Where is the warmest ocean water in California?
The warmest ocean water of the year in California lies off Newport Beach and Santa Catalina Island in August when temperatures average 70 degrees F (21 °C).
Can you swim in the ocean in California?
Beach-goers can enjoy swimming and bodysurfing near the coastline, which provides calmer waters than the point breaks farther into the water. The beach extends for three miles from Huntington Beach City to Seal Beach and provides bathrooms and cleaning stations for swimmers.
Why is SoCal so cold?
The overall temperature decreases in part due to the clouds reflecting the Sun’s shortwave solar radiation. Winds also tend to pick up in low pressure regions primarily due to differences in air density. So, basically, now you see how the low pressure led to colder weather for us in LA!