Effect of Surface Waves on Air-Sea Momentum Flux
RHODE ISLAND UNIV NARRAGANSETT GRADUATE SCHOOL OF OCEANOGRAPHY
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The long-term goal of this study is to clarify the detailed physical mechanism of the interaction between surface gravity waves and near surface atmospheric turbulence, and to improve our predictive capability of the momentum and energy transfer between the atmosphere and the ocean. The main objective of this program is to continue and extend the study of the effect of surface waves on air-sea momentum flux by investigating detailed wave fields, wave-induced pressure fields, and wave-induced velocity signals. In particular, we address the directionality and the nonlinearity of the coupled wind-wave systems. We suspect that these two are among the major reasons why our linear analysis of the wave-induced pressurevelocity yields very different results over an open ocean compared with coastal areas. We continue to analyze the field data from the two ONR-sponsored experiments RASEX, MBL West Coast by employing the similarity analysis of wind-wave coupling Hare et al., 1997, and the estimation of directional frequency-wavenumber surface wave spectra, using the extended version of the algorithm developed by Hanson et al. 1997. By combining these two approaches, we are able to improve our estimates of the momentum flux supported by gravity waves, in both coastal conditions and in open ocean conditions, without relying on empirical parameterizations.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Fluid Mechanics