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Investigaciones marinas

versión On-line ISSN 0717-7178


BARBIERI B, M.A et al. Phenomena associated with the sea surface thermal structure observed through satellite images in the north of Chile. Investig. mar. [online]. 1995, vol.23, pp.99-122. ISSN 0717-7178.

A total of 1,867 satellite images of sea surface temperature were used to study the thermal structure and observe surface phenomena, between 1987 and 1992. In the north of Chile (18°21'-24°S) multitemporal analysis shows coolings associated to upwelling events, either by fringes or cells. The focal upwelling events may be observed all year round at five zones: punta Baquedano (18°35'S) (sporadic), punta Pichalo (19°35'S), between punta Chucumata and punta Lobos (20°31'S to 21°01'S), punta Arenas (21°38'S) (sporadic and of lower intensity) and in punta Angamos (23°02'S). Upwelling intensity becomes greater in summer, and decreases towards the winter months. Location of this zones was permanent during the whole period of study, only altered by El Niño events (1987 and 1992). During the summer months, upwelling events lasted from 4 to 15 days, with a mode of 8 days. They were more frecuent and of les ser duration in the area of punta Baquedano; of greater duration in the zones of punta Pichalo and Iquique. The extension of the upwelled tongue reaches around 40 nm with a mode of 30 nm in the summer-automm season and 25 nm in the winter-spring season. Occasionally, injanuary and february, from the borders of the upwelling plume, filaments are formed towards the NW and NWW. They reach lengths of 40 to 60 nm preferently off punta Lobos and punta Arenas. These filaments were also observed in the sector of punta Angamos all year mund, bul directed towards the north and not as extense. In the areas south of Pisagua, lo the north of punta Gruesa (20°20'S) and to the north of Tocopilla (22°05'S), the presence of eddies were also observed

Palabras clave : sea surface temperature; NOAA satellite images; upwellings; filaments; eddies; north of Chile.

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