Lagrangian Wind and Current Vectors Very Close to a Short-Fetch Wind-Swept Surface

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  • 1 Ocean Sciences Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375
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Abstract

Drag used in aeronautics and wind stress used in oceanography are essentially equivalent under short-fetch conditions, where the wind velocity substantially exceeds the water velocity. Likewise, lift and wave height are related under the same conditions.

An average short fetch wind velocity of 10 m s−1 shows the properties of increasing drag and lift from the trough to the skewed downwind peak. Immediately after the peak the drag and lift drop to a low value corresponding to a region of aerodynamic stall. Recovery is rapid and the process is repeated for the next wave.

In spite of the similarities, short-fetch water waves are not well designed air foils. They are somewhat like flying an airfoil backward.

Abstract

Drag used in aeronautics and wind stress used in oceanography are essentially equivalent under short-fetch conditions, where the wind velocity substantially exceeds the water velocity. Likewise, lift and wave height are related under the same conditions.

An average short fetch wind velocity of 10 m s−1 shows the properties of increasing drag and lift from the trough to the skewed downwind peak. Immediately after the peak the drag and lift drop to a low value corresponding to a region of aerodynamic stall. Recovery is rapid and the process is repeated for the next wave.

In spite of the similarities, short-fetch water waves are not well designed air foils. They are somewhat like flying an airfoil backward.

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