Publication details.


Author(s):A. Orfila, C. Urbano-Latorre, J. Sayol, S. Gonzalez-Montes, A. Caceres-Euse, I. Hernández-Carrasco, Á. Muñoz
Title:On the Impact of the Caribbean Counter Current in the Guajira Upwelling System
Journal:Frontiers in Marine Science
JCR Impact Factor:5.247
Abstract:© Copyright © 2021 Orfila, Urbano-Latorre, Sayol, Gonzalez-Montes, Caceres-Euse, Hernández-Carrasco and Muñoz.The variability of La Guajira upwelling system, in the south-central Caribbean Sea, is strongly influenced by the intensity and location of the atmospheric Caribbean Low-Level Jet (CLLJ), a near-surface branch of the easterlies, as well as by the regional ocean circulation. During favorable conditions (i.e., strong easterlies blowing almost parallel to the coast), upwelling is enhanced and a large amount of primary productivity occurs in La Guajira area. In contrast, during relatively mild wind conditions, the CLLJ is misaligned to the coast and the Caribbean Counter Current (CCC, locally also known as the Darien Current), which forms as a branch from the Panama-Colombia Gyre, flows northeastward over the continental shelf advecting waters from the southwestern Caribbean basin toward La Guajira. The CCC has a clear signature at the surface layer that extends from the Darien Gulf toward La Guajira peninsula during mild wind periods, while disappears during the months of strong winds. The direction and the magnitude of the easterlies, and more specifically of the CLLJ, control the position and pathway of the CCC, which extends more than 900 km in the southern Caribbean Sea during May, June, August, September, and October. The high concentration of chlorophyll-a at the sea surface evidenced by satellite-based color images is semi-seasonally modulated by the CLLJ, which during its relaxation phase allows the irruption of the CCC toward the east up to La Guajira.

Related staff

  • Alejandro Orfila Förster
  • Ismael Hernandez Carrasco
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change
  • Related research groups

  • Marine Technologies, Operational and Coastal Oceanography