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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-40
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-40
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 15 Apr 2019

Research article | 15 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

The effect of mountain uplift on eastern boundary currents and upwelling systems

Gerlinde Jung1,2 and Matthias Prange1,2 Gerlinde Jung and Matthias Prange
  • 1MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, 28334 Bremen, Germany
  • 2Faculty of Geosciences, University of Bremen, 28334 Bremen, Germany

Abstract. All major mountain ranges are assumed to have been subject to increased uplifting processes during the late Miocene and Pliocene. Previous work has demonstrated that African uplift is an important element to explain Benguela upper-ocean cooling in the late Miocene/Pliocene. According to proxy records, a surface ocean cooling also occurred in other Eastern Boundary upwelling regions during the late Neogene. Here we investigate a set of sensitivity experiments altering topography in major mountain regions (Andes, North American Cordillera and South/East African mountains) separately with regard to the potential impact on the intensity of near-coastal low-level winds, Ekman transport and Ekman pumping as well as upper-ocean cooling. The simulations show that mountain uplift is important for upper-ocean temperature evolution in the area of Eastern Boundary Currents. The impact is primarily on the atmospheric circulation which is then acting on upper-ocean temperatures through changes in strengths of upwelling, horizontal heat advection and surface heat fluxes. Different atmosphere-ocean feedbacks additionally alter the sea surface temperature response to uplift. The relative importance of the different feedback mechanisms depends on the region, but is most likely also influenced by model and model resolution.

Gerlinde Jung and Matthias Prange
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Gerlinde Jung and Matthias Prange
Gerlinde Jung and Matthias Prange
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Short summary
All major mountain ranges were uplifted during Earth's history. Previous work showed that African uplift might have influenced upper-ocean cooling in the Benguela region. But the surface ocean cooled also in other upwelling regions during the last 10 Million years. We performed a set of model experiments altering topography in major mountain regions to explore the effects on atmosphere and ocean. The simulations show that mountain uplift is important for upper-ocean temperature evolution.
All major mountain ranges were uplifted during Earth's history. Previous work showed that...
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