Interaction of Surface Waves and Near Surface Currents
SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY LA JOLLA CA MARINE PHYSICAL LAB
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Wind waves on the sea surface are modulated by both longer waves e. g., swell and by low frequency motion such a Langmuir circulation or internal waves. The modulation of the small wind wave components helps to make the lower frequency activity visible, both with optical and radar techniques. Conversely, interaction with the larger wind waves can be important to the formation and growth of the low frequency motion. The growth and dissipation of the surfaces waves are also important in this interaction. The ultimate goal is to understand the physical mechanisms behind observed modulations of ocean surface wind waves. Proper interpretation of remotely sensed images require a thorough understanding of the behavior of the short scattering waves. Estimates of air-sea fluxes of gases, heat, momentum, etc. are also strongly dependent on the details of the wave modulation and breaking both directly and via induced secondary flows such as Langmuir circulation. This project addressed two problems within this context 1modulation of short waves by longer ones, in the presence of both strong generation and dissipation and 2 interaction of surface waves and Langmuir circulation, with special attention towards identifying an observable effect on the waves.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography