Coastal Upwelling

Waves, Photo Credit: Jackie Sones

BML is located in the center of the California upwelling system, with the strongest and most persistent winds anywhere along the west coast of North America. It is logical then that researchers are leaders in the science of wind-driven coastal upwelling, and how it yields such a rich ecosystem. Ongoing studies and research campaigns yield new insight year after year – on physical processes, plankton productivity, and ecosystem connectivity.  At the heart of this research is the custom research vessel the R/V Mussel Point that allows researchers to quickly and safely travel offshore to probe the physics, biology and chemistry of this fertile ecosystem. Upwelling Oceanography focuses on addressing small-scale patterns in coastal upwelling, both spatial (e.g., cape-and-bay) and temporal (e.g. , upwelling-relaxation); emphasis on features and processes that play a primary role in ecosystem productivity (plankton communities) and the connectivity of coastal populations (larval dispersal).