Oceanic Whitecaps and Sea State

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  • 1 College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19711
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Abstract

Results of white-cap coverages of the ocean surface obtained by previous investigators in both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean are reanalyzed. The variation of coverage with wind velocity appears to be related to the rate of energy supplied by the wind. The coverage is also found to vary with stability conditions of the atmospheric surface layer. Empirical formulas are deduced for various sea states and stability conditions, and application of these formulas to remote sensing of marine wind velocity is discussed.

Abstract

Results of white-cap coverages of the ocean surface obtained by previous investigators in both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean are reanalyzed. The variation of coverage with wind velocity appears to be related to the rate of energy supplied by the wind. The coverage is also found to vary with stability conditions of the atmospheric surface layer. Empirical formulas are deduced for various sea states and stability conditions, and application of these formulas to remote sensing of marine wind velocity is discussed.

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