Warm water below cold water at the beach?

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Curiosity Science Physics Warm water below cold water at the beach?

  • I was at the beach in chest-deep water, and the water was significantly warmer at lower levels than near the surface. I had never experienced this before and thought that colder water was always below warmer water. How could the water be warmer near my knees than near the surface?

    – Asked by Colin via the ask a science question page.

  • That is an interesting observation, Colin. There could be a few reasons. I just read about upwelling, thanks to you. So it could be the primary reason, as you mentioned you were on the beach. Upwelling is basically the wind movements (parallel to the shoreline) displacing the warm water on the surface of the ocean, where the cold water wells up to replace it. Combine the effects of this with currents or local seabed heating, you might have felt warmer down than at the top. Do share the location where you experienced this and probably we could figure out more. I hope this answers your question to a degree.

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