Demonstration of the onshore transport of larval invertebrates by the shoreward movement of an upwelling front

Shanks, Alan L., John Largier, Laura Brink, John Brubaker, Rian Hooff

Limnol. Oceanogr., 45(1), 2000, 230-236 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2000.45.1.0230

ABSTRACT: Upwelling winds off North Carolina set up upwelling fronts. As the wind forcing relaxed following such a coastal upwelling event, we observed the upwelling front move onshore. The low-density surface water moved shoreward over the upwelled water, forming a convergence zone at the front. This shoreward-moving front concentrated and transported larvae. Larval sergestid shrimp, spionid polychaete larvae, and the veligers of Odostomia sp. and Bittium sp. were concentrated on the seaward side of the moving convergence. Blue crab megalopae were concentrated at the surface immediately seaward of the front. These data demonstrate that a relaxing upwelling front can transport high concentrations of larvae shoreward over the inner shelf. This may be an important mechanism promoting the shoreward migration of larval invertebrates and fish.

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