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Ekman Upwelling (Hydroform Type)

Component: Hydroform

Unique Identifier: 653

Hydroform Class Current
Hydroform Ekman Flow
Hydroform Type Ekman Upwelling

Definition Upwardly-directed current resulting from either the divergence of water masses or from movement of surface water away from the coast. At the divergence of two water masses (or the wind-driven movement of water away from a coastline), continuity of mass flow will move water from depth to the surface as replacement. In the nearshore, the circulation will bring the water from the shallow bottom. In deeper waters, the upwelling will carry water from a variety of depths—from near the surface to depths to as great as 500 meters (below the pycnocline). Because the upwelled water is working against gravity, its maximum influence is not as great as downwelled water (which is aided by gravity); however, the upwelling can reach into the mesopelagic zone.