Incorporation of Stratification Effects on the Oceanic Roughness Length in the Derivation of the Neutral Drag Coefficient

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  • 1 National Research Council Associate, Department of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA 93943
  • | 2 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
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Abstract

Based on the assumption that, over the sea, the roughness length of the wind profile scales with the wind stress, a new formulation that describes the drag coefficient as a function of the given neutral drag coefficient and stability is derived. The new formulation is compared to an earlier formulation where roughness changes with stability were ignored. The two are then illustrated with data collected from both the Marine Remote Sensing Project (1979) and the Tower Ocean Wave and Radar Dependence Experiment (1984). It was found that when the surface roughness was allowed to depend on wind stress (and therefore stability), the stratification correction to the neutral drag coefficient was larger than for the case when the roughness length was not allowed to vary.

Abstract

Based on the assumption that, over the sea, the roughness length of the wind profile scales with the wind stress, a new formulation that describes the drag coefficient as a function of the given neutral drag coefficient and stability is derived. The new formulation is compared to an earlier formulation where roughness changes with stability were ignored. The two are then illustrated with data collected from both the Marine Remote Sensing Project (1979) and the Tower Ocean Wave and Radar Dependence Experiment (1984). It was found that when the surface roughness was allowed to depend on wind stress (and therefore stability), the stratification correction to the neutral drag coefficient was larger than for the case when the roughness length was not allowed to vary.

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