College of Science and Mathematics


Mathematics Department

Degree Name

BS in Mathematics




Paul Choboter


The dynamics of wind-driven coastal upwelling and downwelling are studied using a simplified dynamical model. Exact solutions are examined as a function of time and over a family of sloping bathymetries. Assumptions in the two-dimensional model include a frictionless ocean interior below the surface Ekman layer, and no alongshore dependence of the variables; however, dependence in the cross-shore and vertical directions is retained. Additionally, density and alongshore momentum are advected by the cross-shore velocity in order to maintain thermal wind. The time-dependent initial-value problem is solved with constant initial stratification and no initial alongshore flow. An alongshore pressure gradient is added to allow the cross-shore flow to be geostrophically balanced far from shore. Previously, this model has been used to study upwelling over flat-bottom and sloping bathymetry, but the novel feature in this work is the discovery of exact solutions for downwelling. These exact solutions are compared to numerical solutions from a primitive-equation ocean model, based on the Princeton Ocean Model, configured in a similar two-dimensional geometry. Many typical features of the evolution of density and velocity during downwelling are displayed by the analytical model.