Remote Sensing of Upwelling in the Arabian Sea and Adjacent Near-Coastal Regions

  • K. Ajith JosephEmail author
  • Chiranjivi Jayaram
  • Archana Nair
  • Mary Swapna George
  • A. N. Balchand
  • Lasse H. Pettersson


Upwelling is a dominant mechanism in the Arabian Sea that occurs annually during southwest monsoon summer season. This results in abundance of phytoplankton and zooplankton in the region and has profound influence on the coastal fisheries. During the southwest monsoon, an intense low-level wind jet blows diagonally across the Arabian Sea generating coastal upwelling along the coasts of Somalia, Oman and the southeastern Arabian Sea. In this study, a synergy of different parameters like sea surface winds, chlorophyll (chl-a), sea surface temperature (SST) and sea level anomaly (SLA) retrieved from remote sensing were used to make a more detailed analysis on upwelling features for the summer seasons of the years 1982–2015. From the analysis, it is observed that upwelling in the Arabian Sea is not homogeneous across the basin despite being driven by monsoon winds. During the study period, Ekman transport, SLA and SST anomaly showed positive trend, whereas chlorophyll showed negative trend of varying strengths. Increased Ekman transport has not generated increased productivity indicating the role of other governing mechanisms on the availability of nutrients in the region.


Coastal upwelling Arabian sea Sea surface temperature (SST) Sea level anomalies (SLA) Ekman transport 



The authors thank the NASA Cross-calibrated, Multi-Platform Ocean Surface Wind Velocity project (CCMP) for providing sea surface winds ESRL, NOAA is acknowledged for providing the Optimum Interpolation SST V2 (OISST v2). Sea Level Anomaly data is obtained from the French AVISO and Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative (OC_CCI) of the European Space Agency (ESA) provided merged chlorophyll data. This work was initiated under the project INDO-European Research Facilities for Studies on MARine Ecosystem and CLIMate in India (INDO-MARECLIM, GA#295092) supported by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (INCO-LAB).  AJK, MSG and LHP are grateful for the financial support under the institutional basic grant from the Nansen Center in Bergen, Norway. CJ thanks the Head and General Manager, RRSC-East for the support, ANB acknowledges CUSAT for the facilities. Authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Ajith Joseph
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chiranjivi Jayaram
    • 2
  • Archana Nair
    • 3
  • Mary Swapna George
    • 1
  • A. N. Balchand
    • 4
  • Lasse H. Pettersson
    • 5
  1. 1.Nansen Environmental Research Centre (India)KochiIndia
  2. 2.RRSC-East, NRSC/Indian Space Research OrganisationKolkataIndia
  3. 3.SEOCSIndian Institute of Technology BhubaneswarBhubaneswarIndia
  4. 4.Cochin University of Science and TechnologyKochiIndia
  5. 5.Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing CenterBergenNorway

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