Accession Number:

ADA465286

Title:

The Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response to Small-Scale Atmospheric Jets

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 15 Feb 2005-31 Dec 2006

Corporate Author:

WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2007-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

6.0

Abstract:

The long-term goal of this project is to better understand the general problem of ocean-atmosphere interaction on small space and time scales. The present study has focused on gaining a better understanding the coupled response to small-scale atmospheric jets and oceanic surface fronts that are commonly observed near orographic features such as islands and mountain passes. The atmospheric response to sharp SST gradients has been explored in the strong wind regime, defined as UfL1, where U is the wind speed, f is the Coriolis parameter, and L is the ocean front width. Adjustments to the atmospheric boundary layer thickness, surface wind speed, and momentum balances are studied for both cold to warm and warm to cold winds. In a second study, it is shown that this feedback between ocean SST and surface winds can either enhance or reduce the growth rate and wavelengths of baroclinically unstable waves in the ocean, depending on wind direction. This coupling is most effective for low latitude, strongly stratified flows.

Subject Categories:

  • Meteorology
  • Fluid Mechanics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE