up·​well·​ing ˌəp-ˈwe-liŋ How to pronounce upwelling (audio)
: the process or an instance of rising or appearing to rise to the surface and flowing outward
especially : the process of upward movement to the ocean surface of deeper cold usually nutrient-rich waters especially along some shores due to the offshore movement of surface waters (as from the action of winds and the Coriolis force)

Examples of upwelling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At the Last Night of the Proms, the BBC Singers received a sustained roar of applause—symbolic of an upwelling of protest that had forced the BBC to reconsider its termination of the group. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2023 But with less of that upwelling, the waters in the Caribbean and around Florida have been heating like a pot on slow boil. Matt Simon, WIRED, 29 Aug. 2023 Ryan Walters, an oceanographer at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, said areas with strong upwelling — like the cool strip along California’s coastline — appear to be less affected by heat waves than other areas in the ocean, potentially providing a cool haven for animals looking to avoid heat. Susanne Rust, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2023 And Tara Regio’s chaos terrain is doubly compelling: Hubble Space Telescope observations from 2017 revealed that the region also harbors sodium chloride—the compound in common table salt—which presumably comes from upwellings of subsurface water as well. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 21 Sep. 2023 In addition, winds in the region tend to shear off the tops of hurricanes, push storms to the west and northwest away from the coast and push away warmer surface waters, creating an upwelling of colder water. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 1 June 2023 But in other cases, like the ongoing bloom in California, it is driven less by water temperatures and more by strong coastal upwelling, which provides more nutrients that feed the algae. Rachel Ramirez, CNN, 22 June 2023 Instead, scientists suggest the trend comes from nutrient distribution—rising temperatures reduce the mixing between different layers of water and limit upwelling of nutrients. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 July 2023 The algae, which grow during the spring and fall when the upwelling of water results in nutrients from deeper water rising to the surface, builds up in the food chain. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'upwelling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1868, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of upwelling was in 1868

Dictionary Entries Near upwelling

Cite this Entry

“Upwelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upwelling. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


up·​well·​ing ˌəp-ˈwel-iŋ How to pronounce upwelling (audio)
: the process or an example of rising or appearing to rise to the surface and flowing outward
especially : the process of movement of deeper cooler layers of ocean water that are often rich in nourishing substances to the surface

More from Merriam-Webster on upwelling

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