Air-Sea Interaction in High Winds and the Role of Spray
COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER NH
Pagination or Media Count:
The goal is to investigate, theoretically and through analyzing existing data, the role that sea spray plays in transferring heat, moisture, and momentum across the air-sea interface, especially in high winds. Ultimately, we hope to develop simple parameterizations for these air-sea fluxes for use in large-scale models, especially those simulating tropical and extra-tropical storms. The ultimate goal of this work is to understand the physics and, thus, how to parameterize the air-sea fluxes of momentum and sensible and latent heat at all wind speeds. Since the COARE bulk flux parameterization Fairall et al., 1996 is successful at winds speeds of 10 ms or less, I focus on higher wind speeds, where sea spray is present and is a likely transfer agent. Succinctly, the first objective is to learn how to partition the air-sea fluxes between interfacial and spray contributions. The sum of the net sensible and latent heat fluxes via all routes is called the total enthalpy flux. Because this total enthalpy flux, rather than the individual sensible and latent heat fluxes, provides the energy for tropical storms, the second objective is to develop a parameterization for the air-sea heat fluxes including spray effects that is suitable for use in large-scale air-sea interaction models. The third objective focuses on air-sea momentum exchange in high winds and on how spray and other surface disruptions alter this exchange.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography