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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050690

Coastal Upwelling Front Detection off Central Chile (36.5–37°S) and Spatio-Temporal Variability of Frontal Characteristics

1
Millennium Institute of Oceanography (IMO), University of Concepcion, P.O. Box 1313, Concepción-3, Concepción 4030000, Chile
2
Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV), Casilla 1020, Valparaíso 2340000, Chile
3
Institute of Oceanography, University of Hamburg, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
4
Depto. Oceanografía, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanográficas, Universidad de Concepción (UdeC), Casilla 160-C, Concepción-3, Concepción 4030000, Chile
5
Depto. Geofísica, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Concepción (UdeC), Casilla 160-C, Concepción-3, Concepción 4030000, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 30 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Ocean Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

In Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems, cold coastal waters are separated from offshore by a strong cross-shore Sea Surface Temperature (SST) gradient zone. This upwelling front plays a major role for the coastal ecosystem. This paper proposes a method to automatically identify the front and define its main characteristics (position, width, and intensity) from high resolution data. The spatio-temporal variability of the front characteristics is then analyzed in a region off Central Chile (37°S), from 2003 to 2016. The front is defined on daily 1 km-resolution SST maps by isotherm T0 with T0 computed from mean SST with respect to the distance from the coast. The probability of detecting a front, as well as the front width and intensity are driven by coastal wind conditions and increased over the 2007–2016 period compared to the 2003–2006 period. The front position, highly variable, is related to the coastal jet configuration and does not depend on the atmospheric forcing. This study shows an increase by 14% in the probability of detecting a front and also an intensification by 17% of the cross-front SST difference over the last 14 years. No trend was found in the front position. View Full-Text
Keywords: Eastern Boundary Upwelling System; coastal upwelling front detection; upwelling spatio-temporal variability; climate change Eastern Boundary Upwelling System; coastal upwelling front detection; upwelling spatio-temporal variability; climate change
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Oerder, V.; Bento, J.P.; Morales, C.E.; Hormazabal, S.; Pizarro, O. Coastal Upwelling Front Detection off Central Chile (36.5–37°S) and Spatio-Temporal Variability of Frontal Characteristics. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 690.

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