Upwelling Areas as Possible Refugia for Reefs in Times of Rising SST? Further Evidence from the Caribbean and Indian Oceans
Proceedings 9th International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali, Indonesia
Coral Reef, Upwelling, Reef Health, Sea Surface Temperature, Bahamas, South Africa, Coral Bleaching, Thermal Stress, ICRS9
A link seems to exist between upwelled cool water and coral health in Eleuthera, Cat Island (Bahamas) and Sodwana Bay (South Africa). In 1999, coral health and recovery from the 1998 bleaching was better in Cat Island than in Eleuthera (70% versus 44% of corals healthy). The southern Cat Island shelf is narrow and reefs are protected from bank waters by the island. Upwelling was observed in the field and on satellite imagery. The northern Eleuthera shelf is wide, and reefs are influenced by bank waters (downwelling of hyperpycnal waters). In hot years, when oceanic and bank waters get heated beyond bleaching threshold, upwelling protects Cat Island reefs. South African reefs are protected from high temperatures by annual upwelling in summer. Therefore, even during the 1998 world-wide bleaching event,
Riegl, Bernhard and Piller, Werner, "Upwelling Areas as Possible Refugia for Reefs in Times of Rising SST? Further Evidence from the Caribbean and Indian Oceans" (2000). Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures. 112.