Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 3 of 3 items for :

  • Author or Editor: Margaret J. Yelland x
  • Journal of Physical Oceanography x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Peter K. Taylor
and
Margaret J. Yelland

Abstract

It is proposed that the sea surface roughness z o can be predicted from the height and steepness of the waves, z o /H s = A(H s /L p ) B , where H s and L p are the significant wave height and peak wavelength for the combined sea and swell spectrum; best estimates for the coefficients are A = 1200, B = 4.5. The proposed formula is shown to predict well the magnitude and behavior of the drag coefficient as observed in wave tanks, lakes, and the open ocean, thus reconciling observations that previously had appeared disparate. Indeed, the formula suggests that changes in roughness due to limited duration or fetch are of order 10% or less. Thus all deep water, pure windseas, regardless of fetch or duration, extract momentum from the air at a rate similar to that predicted for a fully developed sea. This is confirmed using published field data for a wide range of conditions over lakes and coastal seas. Only for field data corresponding to extremely young waves (U 10/c p > 3) were there appreciable differences between the predicted and observed roughness values, the latter being larger on average. Significant changes in roughness may be caused by shoaling or by swell. A large increase in roughness is predicted for shoaling waves if the depth is less than about 0.2L p . The presence of swell in the open ocean acts, on average, to significantly decrease the effective wave steepness and hence the mean roughness compared to that for a pure windsea. Thus the predicted open ocean roughness is, at most wind speeds, significantly less than is observed for pure wind waves on lakes. Only at high wind speeds, such that the windsea dominates the swell, do the mean open ocean values reach those for a fully developed sea.

Full access
William M. Drennan
,
Peter K. Taylor
, and
Margaret J. Yelland

Abstract

The concept of an “equivalent surface roughness” over the ocean is useful in understanding the relation between wind speed (at some height) and the net momentum flux from air to sea. The relative performance of different physics-motivated scalings for this roughness can provide valuable guidance as to which mechanisms are important under various conditions. Recently, two quite different roughness length scalings have been proposed. Taylor and Yelland presented a simple formula based on wave steepness, defined as the ratio of significant wave height to peak wavelength, to predict the surface roughness. A consequence of this formula is that roughness changes due to fetch or duration limitations are small, an order of 10%. The wave steepness formula was proposed as an alternative to the classical wave-age scaling first suggested by Kitaigorodskii and Volkov. Wave-age scaling, in contrast to steepness scaling, predicts order-of-magnitude changes in roughness associated with fetch or duration. The existence of two scalings, with different roughness predictions in certain conditions, has led to considerable confusion among certain groups. At several recent meetings, including the 2001 World Climate Research Program/Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (WCRP/SCOR) workshop on the intercomparison and validation of ocean–atmosphere flux fields, proponents of the two scalings met with the goal of understanding the merits and limitations of each scaling. Here the results of these efforts are presented. The two sea-state scalings are tested using a composite of eight datasets representing a wide range of conditions. In conditions with a dominant wind-sea component, both scalings were found to yield improved estimates when compared with a standard bulk formulation. In general mixed sea conditions, the steepness formulation was preferred over both bulk and wave-age scalings, while for underdeveloped “young” wind sea, the wave-age formulation yields the best results. Neither sea-state model was seen to perform well in swell-dominated conditions where the steepness was small, but the steepness model did better than the wave-age model for swell-dominated conditions where the steepness exceeded a certain threshold.

Full access