Marked contrast in wind-driven upwelling on the southeastern Nova Scotia coast in July of two years differing in ENSO conditions

Ricardo A. Scrosati, Julius A. Ellrich

Paper category: Short communication
Corresponding author: Ricardo A. Scrosati (
DOI: 10.1515/ohs-2020-0008
Received: 25/03/2019
Accepted: 24/06/2019
Full text: here

Citation: Scrosati, R. & Ellrich, J. (2020). Marked contrast in wind-driven upwelling on the southeastern Nova Scotia coast in July of two years differing in ENSO conditions. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, 49(1), pp. 81-87. Retrieved 10 Mar. 2020, from doi:10.1515/ohs-2020-0008


Upwelling occurs on several coasts of the world, but it has mostly been studied on eastern ocean boundaries. We investigated upwelling on a western ocean boundary for which limited information exists. Using daily in-situ data on sea surface temperature (SST), we found a marked contrast in coastal cooling between July 2014 (pronounced) and July 2015 (weak) at two locations 110 km apart on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. These findings are consistent with a marked interannual difference in wind-driven upwelling. On the one hand, southwesterlies (which cause upwelling on this coast) were more frequent in July 2014 than in July 2015. On the other hand, Bakun’s upwelling index (which is based on wind data and geographic information) indicated that coastal upwelling was more common and intense in July 2014 than in July 2015, while the reverse was true for downwelling. Interestingly, a strong El Niño event occurred in July 2015, while no El Niño (or La Niña) conditions happened in July 2014. In a recent book evaluating upwelling systems around the world, the system that is the focus of the present study was not included. Therefore, our findings should stimulate future research on upwelling on the Atlantic Canadian coast, in that way helping to further develop the knowledge base for western ocean boundaries.


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