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Upwelling linked to warm summers and bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

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dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Reef & Rainforest Res Ctr Ltd
dc.contributor Ctr Spatial Environm Res
dc.contributor Marine Trop Sci Res Facil
dc.contributor Global Change Inst
dc.contributor University Of Queensland
dc.contributor Univ Queensland
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science (aims) en STEINBERG, CRAIG R. BERKELMANS, RAY WEEKS, SCARLA J. 2013-02-28T06:50:37Z 2017-03-21T01:17:50Z 2013-02-28T06:50:37Z 2019-05-09T01:08:05Z 2013-02-28T06:50:37Z 2017-03-21T01:17:50Z 2013-02-28T06:50:37Z 2019-05-09T01:08:05Z 2010-11-01
dc.identifier 8651 en
dc.identifier.citation Berkelmans R, Weeks Sj and Steinberg CR (2010) Upwelling linked to warm summers and bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Limnology and Oceanography. 55: 2634-2644. en
dc.identifier.issn 0024-3590
dc.description Link to abstract/full text - en
dc.description.abstract We investigate a range of indices to quantify upwelling on the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, so that environmental and biological relationships associated with upwelling in this area can be explored. We show that "Upwelling days" (the number of days of upwelling) and diurnal variation in subsurface temperature (maximum-minimum, 20-m depth) are satisfactory metrics to describe the duration and intensity of upwelling events, respectively. We use these to examine key characteristics of shelf-break upwelling in the central GBR. Our results show, somewhat paradoxically, that although upwelling involves cold water being brought near to the surface, it is linked to positive thermal anomalies on the GBR, both locally and regionally. Summers (December to February) with strongest upwelling occurred during the GBR-wide bleaching events of 1997-1998 and 2001-2002. Upwelling in the GBR is enhanced during doldrums conditions that were a feature of these summers. During these conditions, the poleward-flowing East Australian Current flows faster, lifting the thermocline closer to the surface, spilling more sub-thermocline waters onto the shelf. Doldrums conditions also result in intense local heating, stratification of the water column, and, when severe, coral bleaching. Upwelling intrusions are spatially restricted (central GBR), generally remain subsurface, and are often intermittent, allowing GBR-wide bleaching to occur despite conditions resulting in enhanced upwelling. Intense upwelling events precede anomalous seasonal temperature maxima by up to 2 months and bleaching by 1-3 wk, leading to the prospect of using upwelling activity as a seasonal forecasting index of unusually warm summers and widespread bleaching.
dc.description.sponsorship We gratefully acknowledge the help of Steve Neale and Alex Hendry in coordinating the SeaTemps temperature logger program over many years, including logger calibration and data management, as well as the help of dozens of volunteers in exchanging temperature loggers over time. The AVHRR Pathfinder SST data were obtained from the Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Centre ( and we thank Marites Canto for processing these data. We also thank Andrew Bakun for helpful comments and discussion and two anonymous reviewers for improving this manuscript. This study was made possible with funding provided by the Marine Tropical Science Research Facility through the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre.
dc.description.uri en
dc.language English
dc.language en en
dc.relation.ispartof Limnology and Oceanography - pages: 55: 2634-2644 en
dc.relation.ispartof Null
dc.relation.uri en
dc.subject Coral Sea
dc.subject California
dc.subject Sea-surface Temperature
dc.subject Dynamics
dc.subject Ocean
dc.subject Subsurface Intrusions
dc.subject Climate-change
dc.subject Variability
dc.subject Limnology
dc.subject Marine & Freshwater Biology
dc.subject Stress
dc.subject Waves
dc.subject Oceanography
dc.title Upwelling linked to warm summers and bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef
dc.type journal article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.4319/lo.2010.55.6.2634
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000287844700033

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