Investigation of the Statistics of Ocean Current Speeds.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CALIF
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An in-depth study of 29 time-series current-meter records shows that the logarithmic-speed distributions as a group can be considered to plot symmetrically about their mean, and that the distribution of the mean appears log-normal. The mean distribution does, however, exhibit a slight systematic deviation possibly due to transient phenomena in the data. Fifty drift-of-ship records from the National Oceanographic Data Center were examined and found after a necessary data alteration to show the same distributional characteristics as the current-meter data. Indications from drift-of-ship data were that area and seasonal influences affect the speed variability but not the distributional characteristics of the logarithmic-speed transformation. The log-normal distribution for both current-meter and corrected drift-of-ship data appears to be useful out to a deviation from the mean of between two and three sigma units.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography