Liao Fanglou

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
First Name

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
  • Article
    Hidden upwelling systems associated with major western boundary currents
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-03-03) Liao, Fanglou ; Liang, Xinfeng ; Li, Yun ; Spall, Michael A.
    Western boundary currents (WBCs) play an essential role in regulating global climate. In contrast to their widely examined horizontal motions, less attention has been paid to vertical motions associated with WBCs. Here, we examine vertical motions associated with the major WBCs by analyzing vertical velocity from five ocean synthesis products and one eddy-resolving ocean simulation. These data reveal robust and intense subsurface upwelling systems, which are primarily along isopycnal surfaces, in five major subtropical WBC systems. These upwelling systems are part of basin-scale overturning circulations and are likely driven by meridional pressure gradients along the western boundary. Globally, the WBC upwelling contributes significantly to the vertical transport of water mass and ocean properties and is an essential yet overlooked branch of the global ocean circulation. In addition, the WBC upwelling intersects the oceanic euphotic and mixed layers, and thus likely plays an important role in ocean biological and chemical processes by transporting nutrients, carbon and other tracers vertically inside the ocean. This study calls for more research into the dynamics of the WBC upwelling and their role in the ocean and climate systems.