Effects of surface current–wind interaction in an eddy-rich general ocean circulation simulation of the Baltic Sea

Dietze, Heiner; Löptien, Ulrike

Deoxygenation in the Baltic Sea endangers fish yields and favours noxious algal blooms. Yet, vertical transport processes ventilating the oxygen-deprived waters at depth and replenishing nutrient-deprived surface waters (thereby fuelling export of organic matter to depth) are not comprehensively understood. Here, we investigate the effects of the interaction between surface currents and winds on upwelling in an eddy-rich general ocean circulation model of the Baltic Sea. Contrary to expectations we find that accounting for current–wind effects inhibits the overall vertical exchange between oxygenated surface waters and oxygen-deprived water at depth. At major upwelling sites, however (e.g. off the southern coast of Sweden and Finland) the reverse holds: the interaction between topographically steered surface currents with winds blowing over the sea results in a climatological sea surface temperature cooling of 0.5 K. This implies that current–wind effects drive substantial local upwelling of cold and nutrient-replete waters.

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Dietze, Heiner / Löptien, Ulrike: Effects of surface current–wind interaction in an eddy-rich general ocean circulation simulation of the Baltic Sea. 2016. Copernicus Publications.

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