Investigating the eddy diffusivity concept in the coastal ocean
Rypina, Irina I.
Kirincich, Anthony R.
Sundermeyer, Miles A.
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KeywordCirculation/ Dynamics; Coastal flows; Diffusion; Lagrangian circulation/transport; Observational techniques and algorithms; Radars/Radar observations; Models and modeling; Tracers
This paper aims to test the validity, utility, and limitations of the lateral eddy diffusivity concept in a coastal environment through analyzing data from coupled drifter and dye releases within the footprint of a high-resolution (800 m) high-frequency radar south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Specifically, this study investigates how well a combination of radar-based velocities and drifter-derived diffusivities can reproduce observed dye spreading over an 8-h time interval. A drifter-based estimate of an anisotropic diffusivity tensor is used to parameterize small-scale motions that are unresolved and underresolved by the radar system. This leads to a significant improvement in the ability of the radar to reproduce the observed dye spreading.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 46 (2016): 2201-2218, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0020.1.
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