UBC Undergraduate Research

A Numerical Investigation of the Shelf Slope in the Scaling for Upwelling Over Submarine Canyons. Howatt, Tara


Submarine canyons are known regions of enhanced upwelling. Previous studies have looked into the dynamics of the upwelling and recently a scaling system by Allen and Hickey [2010] has been developed. A closer look into this scaling has shown that the continental shelf slope surrounding the canyon plays a role and needs to be included in the scaling. The slope plays a role in the depth of upwelling and the upwelling ux because the slope will create a back pressure restricting the ow from moving further up the shelf. This thesis will discuss the determination of a non-dimensional number to characterize the shelf slope in these upwelling quantities. A numerical model will be used to test the new scaling and to assist in nding a relation between the shelf slope and the depth of upwelling and the upwelling ux. A non-dimensional number to take into account the e ect of the shelf slope has been found; however, further research is required for a physical explanation of the form of this number. Looking at the results from the model, relationships between the slope, strati cation, Coriolis parameter and upwelling depth and ux can also be made, where a atter slope, low strati cation, and a low Coriolis parameter will have the greatest upwelling response.

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