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Alexander V. Babanin, Jason McConochie, and Dmitry Chalikov

Abstract

The concept of a constant-flux layer is usually employed for vertical profiling of the wind measured at some elevation near the ocean surface. The surface waves, however, modify the balance of turbulent stresses very near the surface, and therefore such extrapolations can introduce significant biases. This is particularly true for buoy measurements in extreme conditions, when the anemometer mast is within the wave boundary layer (WBL) or even below the wave crests. In this paper, field data and a WBL model are used to investigate such biases. It is shown that near the surface the turbulent stresses are less than those obtained by extrapolation using the logarithmic-layer assumption, and the mean wind speeds very near the surface, based on Lake George field observations, are up to 5% larger. The behavior is then simulated by means of a WBL model coupled with nonlinear waves, which confirmed the observations and revealed further details of complex behaviors at the wind-wave boundary layer.

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