Coastal Ocean Circulation Influences on Remotely Sensed Optical Properties: a West Florida Shelf Case Study

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Satellite-sensed ocean optical features are derived from a combination of factors, including the concentration of water properties by the ocean circulation and the modifications of these properties by biological and chemical processes. To demonstrate the role of the ocean circulation, we consider a case study on the upwelling of anomalously cold, nutrient-rich water and a related sea-surface temperature pattern that was observed on the West Florida Shelf. We use in situ data and a numerical model simulation to show how this pattern evolved in time and space and to draw a connection between a narrow band of cold water observed at the coast and the origin of this water a few hundred kilometers away at the shelf break via shoreward and southward advection within the bottom frictional (Ekman) boundary layer.

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Oceanography, v. 17, issue 2, p. 68-75