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Potential of the Global Ocean Data Assimilation System (GODAS) to monitor North American coastal upwelling
Janine Fisler

Visiting Summer Student from University of Maryland
(Climate Prediction Center/NCEP)

Date:  Monday, August 20, 2007
Time:  11:00 AM
Place:   Room 202, NOAA Science Center
            5200 Auth Road
            Camp Springs, MD 20746


Pacific coastal North America typically benefits from seasonal upwelling during late spring and summer. The upwelled nutrients are critical to the survival and reproductive health of photosynthetic phytoplankton and hence the entire coastal ecosystem. Hence monitoring the timing and intensity of coastal upwelling is critical to environmental managers of these ecosystems. NOAA’s Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory (PFEL) has produced the only routine upwelling index, derived from FNMOC sea surface pressure fields using an estimation of offshore Ekman transport driven by geostrophic wind stress. The Global Ocean Data Assimilation System (GODAS), with 1? x 1? spatial resolution and pentad temporal resolution of oceanographic properties since 1979, has the potential to monitor coastal upwelling in near real time. Vertical velocity data was chosen as a proxy for upwelling and computed at 15 standard coastal North American locations.

To assess the skill in monitoring the upwelling, GODAS-derived upwelling was compared with pentad averages of 6-hourly PFEL upwelling indices. Spatial correlation is encouraging, with correlation above 0.7 between 54N and 30N. Correlation diminishes north of 54N and south of 30N. A cumulative upwelling index (CUI) was also computed by annually integrating both PFEL and GODAS upwelling indices between the climatological onset on the upwelling season and the pentad date of maximum seasonal upwelling. The CUI captures the importance of both the timing of onset of the upwelling season in addition to the seasonal intensity. In an interannual basis, GODAS simulates anomalously weak and strong upwelling years well, and compares favorably with PFEL representations of upwelling variability. Potential exists to further develop an upwelling monitoring application of GODAS to be used in tandem with PFEL products. The ability to monitor upwelling in near-real time and potentially forecast the onset and intensity of the upwelling season can deliver large benefits for coastal ecosystem and fishery management.

The security procedures to all interested non-NOAA attendees  for entry into WWB are: You need to give your name, affiliation, and phone #  to the security at the front desk when you arrive.  You need to have a valid photo ID upon entry.  Moreover,  you need to be accompanied during your stay here. I am sorry for the inconvenience.  It may help to make a printout of this announcement and show to the guards for your purpose of visit when u come. If u are interested in giving a seminar at CPC, or for further information, please call (301-763-8000 ext. 7546) or email me (

Directions from Washington Beltway 495: Take exit 7B (Branch Ave), make a right at first signal, and the building is immediately on your left.


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Page last modified: August 15, 2007
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