[ uhp-wel-ing ]
/ ʌpˈwɛl ɪŋ /


an act or instance of welling up: an upwelling of public support; an upwelling of emotion in his voice.
Oceanography. the process by which warm, less-dense surface water is drawn away from along a shore by offshore currents and replaced by cold, denser water brought up from the subsurface.



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Origin of upwelling

First recorded in 1850–55; upwell + -ing1

Words nearby upwelling

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for upwelling

  • Winter fogs, produced by upwelling cold currents, frequently blanket coastal deserts and block solar radiation.

    Deserts|A. S. Walker
  • He handed over a dime with an upwelling feeling of pity in his heart.

    Sister Carrie|Theodore Dreiser
  • There is in man an upwelling spring of life, energy, love, whatever you like to call it.

  • Daoud tried to bring the upwelling of hope under control, to resume the Face of Steel.

Scientific definitions for upwelling

[ ŭp-wĕlĭng ]

The rising of cold, usually nutrient-rich waters from the ocean depths to the warmer, sunlit zone at the surface. Upwelling usually occurs in the subtropics along the western continental coasts, where prevailing trade winds drive the surface water away from shore, drawing deeper water upward to take its place. Because of the abundance of krill and other nutrients in the colder waters, these regions are rich feeding grounds for a variety of marine and avian species. Upwelling can also occur in the middle of oceans where cyclonic circulation is relatively permanent or where southern trade winds cross the Equator.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.