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Cutting Edge > Oceanography > Visualizations > Ocean Circulation and Upwellings

Ocean Circulation and Upwelling Visualizations

Compiled by Jen Millner at Montana State University


Find images and animations about ocean surface currents, upwellings and circulation models.

Browse the complete set of Visualization Collections.


If you have a visualization that would be helpful for teaching about earth science, please contribute to our continually expanding collections.

California Upwelling (more info) This Earth Science Picture of the Day shows a SeaWIFS color-coded image of a cold water upwelling along the California coast. The annotated image also explains the physics of upwellings and how they contribute to nutrient cycling and phytoplankton growth.

Ekman Transport and Coastal Upwelling (more info) This SeaWiFS image shows the Agulhas and Bengeula currents off of the southern tip of Africa. The upwelling of nutrient rich water is seen here in false color as orange and yellow, representing high concentrations of phytoplankton.

Observe How Upwelling Occurs (more info) This Flash animation delineates, in cross section and plan view, the steps necessary to produce upwelling, a phenomenon important in influencing climate and oceanic productivity. Winds moving along the coast are influenced by the Coriolis effect and push surface water offshore. In response, cold, plankton rich water rises to the surface to replace displaced water. The animation can be paused and replayed to stress important points.



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