Modeling a Large Coastal Upwelling Event in Lake Superior

Yaru Li, Dmitry Beletsky, Jia Wang, Jay Austin, James Kessler, Ayumi Fujisaki-Manome, Peng Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An extraordinary strong wind-driven upwelling event occurred in Lake Superior in summer of 2010 when the lake was strongly stratified. In this paper, a detailed three-dimensional (3-D) investigation of the current and thermal structures during the upwelling event was conducted using in situ observations, remote sensing products, and the results of a long-term numerical simulation. A 3-D finite-volume coupled ice–ocean model tailored for the Laurentian Great Lakes was employed for this purpose. The model was validated with temperature observations at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration buoys and mooring data from 2010. The upwelling event observed in satellite imagery and at a mooring station was reproduced by the model, showing a cooling of as much as 10°C in August 2010 along the northwestern coast. The relationship between the alongshore wind and the offshore thermocline displacement (upwelling front) derived in theoretical work (Csanady, 1977, https://doi.org/10.1029/JC082i003p00397) was used to calculate upwelling front movement offshore and found to be in in close agreement with model prediction. A significant correlation between alongshore wind stress and lake temperature change in the upwelling zone was found with a correlation coefficient of −0.87. A simple linear heat balance model explained most of variability in temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020JC016512
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume126
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Moored observations were supported by National Science Foundation division of Ocean Sciences grant OCE‐0825633. Y. Li received scholarship from the China Scholarship Council of Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. This research was additionally funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Competitive Research Program under award NA16NOS4780209 to the University of Michigan and NOAA GLERL. This is CHRP contribution 255. This is Cooperative Institute of Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) contribution 1176 and GLERL contribution 1979. The authors thank Ms Nicole Rice for editing this paper.

Funding Information:
Moored observations were supported by National Science Foundation division of Ocean Sciences grant OCE-0825633. Y. Li received scholarship from the China Scholarship Council of Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. This research was additionally funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Competitive Research Program under award NA16NOS4780209 to the University of Michigan and NOAA GLERL. This is CHRP contribution 255. This is Cooperative Institute of Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) contribution 1176 and GLERL contribution 1979. The authors thank Ms Nicole Rice for editing this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Keywords

  • alongshore wind stress
  • Lake Superior
  • offshore thermocline displacement
  • upwelling

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