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Intrusive upwelling in the Central Great Barrier Reef

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dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Csiro Oceans & Atmosphere
dc.contributor Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (csiro)
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci STEINBERG, CRAIG BENTHUYSEN, JESSICA A. TONIN, HEMERSON BRINKMAN, RICHARD HERZFELD, MICHAEL 2017-01-13T00:44:15Z 2017-01-13T00:44:15Z 2017-03-21T01:04:48Z 2019-05-09T01:10:33Z 2017-01-13T00:44:15Z 2017-01-13T00:44:15Z 2017-03-21T01:04:48Z 2019-05-09T01:10:33Z 2016-11-01
dc.identifier.citation Benthuysen JA, Tonin H, Brinkman R, Herzfeld M, Steinberg C (2016) Intrusive upwelling in the central Great Barrier Reef. Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans 121(11): 8395-8416 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 2169-9275
dc.description.abstract In the Central Great Barrier Reef, the outer continental shelf has an open reef matrix that facilitates the exchange of waters with the Coral Sea. During austral summer, cool water intrudes onto the shelf along the seafloor. Temperature observations reveal cool, bottom intrusions during a 6 year period from the Queensland Integrated Marine Observing System's Palm Passage mooring. A metric is used to identify 64 intrusion events. These intrusions predominantly occur from October to March including the wet season. During an event, the outer-shelf's near-bottom temperature decreases by 1-3 degrees C typically over 1 week. The near-bottom salinity tends to increase, while near-surface changes do not reflect these tendencies. Intrusion events occur predominantly with either weakening equatorward winds or poleward wind bursts. A regional hydrodynamic model for the Great Barrier Reef captures the timing and amplitude of these intrusions. During intrusion events, isotherms tend to uplift over the continental slope and onto the shelf and the East Australian Current intensifies poleward. Over the shelf, a bottom-intensified onshore current coincides with bottom cooling. For numerous events, the model diagnostics reveal that the cross-shelf flow is dominated by the geostrophic contribution. A vertical circulation tilts the isopycnals upward on the southern side of the passage, causing an along-shelf density gradient and geostrophic onshore flow with depth. While wind fluctuations play a major role in controlling the along-shelf currents, model results indicate that a concurrent topographically induced circulation can assist the onshore spread of cool water.
dc.description.sponsorship Data were sourced from the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS)-IMOS is a national collaborative research infrastructure, supported by Australian Government. This data are made available through the Australian Ocean Data Network Portal ( and the Australian Institute of Marine Science Data Catalogue ( and includes the Palm Passage mooring, Myrmidon Reef mooring, and Myrmidon Reef weather station data. The eReefs project is a collaboration between the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Bureau of Meteorology, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Queensland Government, supported by funding from the Australian and Queensland Governments, the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and the Science and Industry Endowment Fund. The eReefs model data are available through the National Computational Infrastructure public THREDDS server ( The ACCESS data and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) are available through the Bureau of Meteorology ( This research was supported by the Australian Institute of Marine Science. We thank the oceanographic technicians, crew of the R/V Cape Ferguson, Felicity McAllister, Paul Rigby, and Simon Spagnol for assistance with the Queensland-IMOS data and Farhan Rizwi for help with the eReefs model data. We thank Miles Furnas and two anonymous reviewers for comments on the manuscript.
dc.description.uri en_US
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher AGU Publications en_US
dc.relation.ispartof Null
dc.subject Great Barrier Reef
dc.subject Continental-shelf
dc.subject Oceanography
dc.subject Upwelling
dc.subject Coral Sea
dc.subject Water
dc.subject Dynamics
dc.subject Queensland Shelf
dc.subject Submarine Canyons
dc.subject Subsurface Intrusions
dc.subject Nino-southern Oscillation
dc.subject Climate
dc.subject Ocean Model
dc.subject Waves
dc.title Intrusive upwelling in the Central Great Barrier Reef
dc.type journal article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1002/2016JC012294
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000392841000025

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