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A numerical study of the upwelling circulation off central Chile Public Deposited

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  • We present a modeling study of the upwelling ocean circulation off central Chile (34°–40°S). Using a primitive equation model, we make a numerical simulation of the ocean circulation for summer of 1993, a year characterized by moderate but persistent equatorward winds. The results indicate the formation of an eastern boundary current system that shows classical Ekman and geostrophic dynamics. A strong equatorward coastal jet develops during intense upwelling activity, induced by the prevailing equatorward winds. The spatial and temporal variability of the upwelling‐favorable winds strongly controls the variability in the oceanic circulation. Upwelling activity in the coastal areas occurs during periods of growth, peak, and decay. The circulation in the region is divided into two distinct dynamical areas that extend north and south of a prominent cape (Punta Lavapie), located in the center of the model domain. During the peak upwelling stage, the equatorward jet separates from the coast at Punta Lavapie and remains separated in the northern region. This detachment is followed by the formation of cyclonic eddies and decreased upwelling during periods of wind relaxation. The northern area is affected by advection processes and weaker local winds. In contrast, the equatorward flows in the southern region are persistently attached to the coastline and are more coherent with the stronger local winds.
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  • Mesias, J. M., Matano, R. P., Strub, P. T., A numerical study of the upwelling off central Chile, J. Geophys. Res., 106, C9.
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  • 106
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  • C9
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