Modeling results of an upwelling in an idealized submarine canyon under different stratified conditions

Submarine canyons along the coast play a major role in upwelling dynamics. On the one hand, various numerical studies and observations have suggested a depth origin of upwelling in submarine canyons between 100 and 400 m deep. On the other hand, recent observations in the Cassidaigne canyon, Northwest of the Mediterranean Sea, show wind-driven transient upwelling of water at depths of over 1600 m.

The potential impact of interior stratification on upwelling depths in submarine canyons is investigated using CROCO numerical simulations. A 6-day alongshore upwelling-favorable wind is considered. The dataset gathers the results of three idealized simulations:

  • A coastal shelf slope without any canyon under non-stratified condition;
  • A coastal  slope with a canyon under non-stratified condition (analog to the particular case of the Mediterranean Sea);
  • A coastal slope with a canyon under stratified condition (comparable to the stratification in most oceanic areas).

The results highlight a control of the upwelling flow and depth with the stratification. A non-stratified water column leads to upwelling over the entire water column, from the deep sea to the mixed layer depth. A stronger stratification results in a tilting of the isopycnals at the canyon head as a response of free surface elevation. This adjusment eliminates pressure gradients in the canyon body, essential for generating upwellings in canyons, and then limits deep currents.

The numerical code configuration (CROCO) is provided.


Physical oceanography


Submarine canyon, Idealized numerical model, Stratification, Deep upwelling


Python codes used to analyze the CROCO model outputs
498 Mopython
CROCO model inputs to implement an upwelling event in an idealized submarine canyon for two stratified cases
1 Gomiscellaneous
Model outputs under non-stratified condition
32 GoNetCDFProcessed data
Model outputs under stratified condition
32 GoNetCDFProcessed data
How to cite
Brun Lénaïg, Garreau Pierre, Pairaud Ivane, Silva Jacinto Ricardo (2024). Modeling results of an upwelling in an idealized submarine canyon under different stratified conditions. SEANOE.

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