Modeling Sea-Surface Variability Caused by Kilometer-Scale Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer Circulations
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH
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The interpretation of satellite- or aircraft-borne synthetic aperture radar SAR imagery requires increased understanding of processes that change the state of the sea surface. Wind stress that results from kilometer-scale boundary layer circulations produces sea-surface stress patterns responsible for some of this sea surface variability. A Galerkin model of these boundary layer circulations-that take the form of two-dimensional rolls and three-dimensional convective cells-is developed here to study their effect on sea surface stress. The objectives of previous investigations using spectral models were focused on the structure of the circulations in the middle levels of the boundary layer, and so for simplicity the stress and heat flux were assumed to vanish at the lower boundary. However these boundary conditions do not allow the study of stress variability at the sea surface. The goal of this thesis is to create a marine atmospheric boundary layer model that allows nonzero heat and momentum fluxes at the lower boundary. Surface layer similarity theory is used to specify constant forcing parameter values in the lower boundary conditions. The focus of this study is to determine whether these lower boundary conditions allow the model to capture the behavior of the roll circulations and, if they do, to determine the fluxes at the lower boundary that influence kilometer-scale sea stress variability.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment