Technical Report

 

Organization of persistent upwelling structures : hydrographic observations, 5 April-10 May 1983. Vol. 2 Public Deposited

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V. 1. Vertical profiles -- v. 2. Maps and vertical sections

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  • The area near Point Arguello has long been recognized as a location of strong upwelling. A tongue of biologically active waters was observed in the earliest studies of this region (Sverdrup and Allen, 1939). More recently, satellite estimates of chlorophyll by the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) on Nimbus-7 have shown the presence of this tongue emanating from Point Arguello in nearly all images off southern California (e.g., Smith and Baker, 1982; Atkinson et al., 1986). This feature is apparently not unique to the Point Arguello region. Similar structures are evident from CZCS and infra-red images near other major points and capes along the west coast of North America (e.g., Abbott and Zion, 1985). Along the central and southern California coast, the tongue off Point Arguello is the largest in spatial extent and the most persistent. The Organization of Persistent Upwelling Structures (OPUS) program was developed with the goal of understanding the relationship between the circulation and planktonic processes in this upwelling region extending southward from Point Arguello. After a small OPUS pilot study in spring 1981 (see Brink et al., 1984, for a summary) a modest program, OPUS-83 (see Atkinson et al., 1986), was funded by the National Science Foundation with the specific objectives of 1) characterizing the physical and biological oceanographic setting in the region within roughly 40 km of Point Arguello; 2) examining the dynamical features of upwelling in this region; 3) obtaining design information for a possible major future OPUS field effort; and 4) achieving some preliminary understanding of the ecosystem dynamics in this region. The field work for OPUS-83 was completed in April and May 1983. This particular time period was selected in order to observe the physical and biological variability during the first few days after the seasonal transition from weak to strong upwelling, the so-called "spring transition" (e.g., Huyer et al., 1979; Brink et al., 1984; Strub et al., 1987; Lentz, 1987). Fortuitously, the OPUS-83 field study was also conducted during a very unusual warming event in the California Current (Simpson, 1983). The sea surface temperatures observed along the California coast during winter and spring of 1983 were the highest recorded since 1958-59. This 1983 warming was related to the major El Nino occurrence in the tropical Pacific Ocean. OPUS-83 was an interdisciplinary program which included physical, chemical and biological measurements repeated at regular intervals on a fixed sampling grid. The hydrographic observations (CTD and XBT) are summarized in two data reports. This report is Volume 2 which contains vertical sections and horizontal maps at selected depths of temperature, salinity and σt Volume 1 contains a detailed background and summary of the OPUS program and vertical profiles of temperature, salinity and σt The text from the sampling, data calibration and processing, and data presentation sections of Volume 1 are included here for easy reference.
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