The Biological Pump and the Significance of Upwelling - Background Information

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Water may be pushed upward by the motion of ocean currents, and when this happens it will take any nutrients that are dissolved in it along with it! Wind can cause this to occur in a circulation pattern known as "wind-driven upwelling". Regions that frequently exhibit wind-driven upwelling tend to be highly productive because of the nutrients that are brought to the surface to support biological growth.

One very common and important type of wind-driven upwelling occurs along coasts. Coastal upwelling will occur whenever the wind blows in the proper direction for a period of time long enough to push the water into the upwelling circulation pattern.

Let's examine the necessary conditions that cause this circulation pattern to develop.


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