Bednorz, E., Czernecki, B., Półrolniczak, M., Tomczyk, A.M.

Atmospheric forcing of upwelling along the south-eastern Baltic coast

Abstract The meteorological forcing on the occurrence of upwelling along the south-eastern Baltic Sea coast (Lithuanian-Latvian sector) is analysed in this study. The sea level pressure patterns and the locations of pressure centres inducing and inhibiting upwelling were identified. The research was performed for the years 1982–2017, for the months of May–September, when the sea waters are thermally stratified and the phenomenon is detectable. The frequency of upwelling is the highest in June (approximately 15%), July and August (11–13%) and the lowest in September (7%). The central and northern part of the Lithuanian–Latvian coast is most favourable for upwelling occurrence (frequency up to 20% in summer months). The main features of the sea level pressure patterns that induce upwelling in the research area are positive pressure anomalies spreading over Northern Europe and the Norwegian Sea, while negative anomalies encompass Southern Europe. Airflow around the anticyclonic centres gives a north-eastern component to the wind direction over the Lithuanian-Latvian shore. Two circulation types were recognized as inducing the occurrence of upwelling along the Lithuanian–Latvian coast. Both of them are characterized by the anticyclonic centres located west or northwest of the study area  and intensify the northerly or north-easterly airflow over the research area. Different pressure patterns with the negative anomalies of sea level pressure spreading over the North Sea and the positive anomalies underlying Central Europe inhibit upwelling along the Lithuanian–Latvian coast. Such pressure conditions, bring about the western airflow component. More constant western winds restrain the upwelling process and bring about normal thermal stratification of coastal waters. A detailed analysis allowed the recognition of two circulation types inhibiting coastal upwelling in the study area. They reveal dipole patterns of sea level pressure anomalies, but the two inhibiting patterns differ substantially in the intensities and locations of the pressure centres and in wind conditions.


Keywords coastal upwelling • atmospheric circulation • south-eastern Baltic Sea • Lithuanian–Latvian coast

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