Scully Malcolm E.

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
First Name
Malcolm E.

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 20 of 32
  • Article
    The influence of stratification and nonlocal turbulent production on estuarine turbulence : an assessment of turbulence closure with field observations
    (American Meteorological Society, 2011-01) Scully, Malcolm E. ; Geyer, W. Rockwell ; Trowbridge, John H.
    Field observations of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), dissipation rate ε, and turbulent length scale demonstrate the impact of both density stratification and nonlocal turbulent production on turbulent momentum flux. The data were collected in a highly stratified salt wedge estuary using the Mobile Array for Sensing Turbulence (MAST). Estimates of the dominant length scale of turbulent motions obtained from the vertical velocity spectra provide field confirmation of the theoretical limitation imposed by either the distance to the boundary or the Ozmidov scale, whichever is smaller. Under boundary-limited conditions, anisotropy generally increases with increasing shear and decreased distance to the boundary. Under Ozmidov-limited conditions, anisotropy increases rapidly when the gradient Richardson number exceeds 0.25. Both boundary-limited and Ozmidov-limited conditions demonstrate significant deviations from a local production–dissipation balance that are largely consistent with simple scaling relationships for the vertical divergence in TKE flux. Both the impact of stratification and deviation from equilibrium turbulence observed in the data are largely consistent with commonly used turbulence closure models that employ “nonequilibrium” stability functions. The data compare most favorably with the nonequilibrium version of the L. H. Kantha and C. A. Clayson stability functions. Not only is this approach more consistent with the observed critical gradient Richardson number of 0.25, but it also accounts for the large deviations from equilibrium turbulence in a manner consistent with the observations.
  • Article
    Mixing of dissolved oxygen in Chesapeake Bay driven by the interaction between wind-driven circulation and estuarine bathymetry
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-08-08) Scully, Malcolm E.
    Field observations collected in Chesapeake Bay demonstrate how wind-driven circulation interacts with estuarine bathymetry to control when and where the vertical mixing of dissolved oxygen occurs. In the across-Bay direction, the lateral Ekman response to along-Bay wind forcing contributes to the vertical mixing of dissolved oxygen in two ways. First, the lateral tilting of the pycnocline/oxycline, consistent with the thermal wind relationship, advects the region of high vertical gradient into the surface and bottom boundary layers where mixing can occur. Second, upwelling of low-oxygen water to the surface enhances the atmospheric influx. In the along-Bay direction, the abrupt change in bottom depth associated with Rappahannock Shoal results in surface convergence and downwelling, leading to localized vertical mixing. Water that is mixed on the shoal is entrained into the up-Bay residual bottom flow resulting in increases in bottom dissolved oxygen that propagate up the system. The increases in dissolved oxygen are often associated with increases in temperature and decreases in salinity, consistent with vertical mixing. However, the lagged arrival moving northward suggests that the propagation of this signal up the Bay is due to advection.
  • Article
    Physical controls on hypoxia in Chesapeake Bay : a numerical modeling study
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-03-14) Scully, Malcolm E.
    A three-dimensional circulation model with a relatively simple dissolved oxygen model is used to examine the role that physical forcing has on controlling hypoxia and anoxia in Chesapeake Bay. The model assumes that the biological utilization of dissolved oxygen is constant in both time and space, isolating the role that physical forces play in modulating oxygen dynamics. Despite the simplicity of the model, it demonstrates skill in reproducing the observed variability of dissolved oxygen in the bay, highlighting the important role that variations in physical forcing have on the seasonal cycle of hypoxia. Model runs demonstrate significant changes in the annual integrated hypoxic volume as a function of river discharge, water temperature, and wind speed and direction. Variations in wind speed and direction had the greatest impact on the observed seasonal cycle of hypoxia and large impacts on the annually integrated hypoxic volume. The seasonal cycle of hypoxia was relatively insensitive to synoptic variability in river discharge, but integrated hypoxic volumes were sensitive to the overall magnitude of river discharge at annual time scales. Increases in river discharge were shown to increase hypoxic volumes, independent from the associated biological response to higher nutrient delivery. However, increases in hypoxic volume were limited at very high river discharge because increased advective fluxes limited the overall length of the hypoxic region. Changes in water temperature and its control on dissolved oxygen saturation were important to both the seasonal cycle of hypoxia and the overall magnitude of hypoxia in a given year.
  • Article
    Quantifying vertical mixing in estuaries
    (Springer, 2008-10-21) Geyer, W. Rockwell ; Scully, Malcolm E. ; Ralston, David K.
    Estuarine turbulence is notable in that both the dissipation rate and the buoyancy frequency extend to much higher values than in other natural environments. The high dissipation rates lead to a distinct inertial subrange in the velocity and scalar spectra, which can be exploited for quantifying the turbulence quantities. However, high buoyancy frequencies lead to small Ozmidov scales, which require high sampling rates and small spatial aperture to resolve the turbulent fluxes. A set of observations in a highly stratified estuary demonstrate the effectiveness of a vessel-mounted turbulence array for resolving turbulent processes, and for relating the turbulence to the forcing by the Reynolds-averaged flow. The observations focus on the ebb, when most of the buoyancy flux occurs. Three stages of mixing are observed: (1) intermittent and localized but intense shear instability during the early ebb; (2) continuous and relatively homogeneous shear-induced mixing during the mid-ebb, and weakly stratified, boundary-layer mixing during the late ebb. The mixing efficiency as quantified by the flux Richardson number Rf was frequently observed to be higher than the canonical value of 0.15 from Osborn (J Phys Oceanogr 10:83–89, 1980). The high efficiency may be linked to the temporal–spatial evolution of shear instabilities.
  • Article
    Estimating hypoxic volume in the Chesapeake Bay using two continuously sampled oxygen profiles
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-09-12) Bever, Aaron J. ; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M. ; Friedrichs, Carl T. ; Scully, Malcolm E.
    Low levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) occur in many embayments throughout the world and have numerous detrimental effects on biota. Although measurement of in situ DO is straightforward with modern instrumentation, quantifying the volume of water in a given embayment that is hypoxic (hypoxic volume (HV)) is a more difficult task; however, this information is critical for determining whether management efforts to increase DO are having an overall impact. This paper uses output from a three‐dimensional numerical model to demonstrate that HV in Chesapeake Bay can be estimated well with as few as two vertical profiles. In addition, the cumulative hypoxic volume (HVC; the total amount of hypoxia in a given year) can be calculated with relatively low uncertainty (<10%) if continuous DO data are available from two strategically positioned vertical profiles. This is because HV in the Chesapeake Bay is strongly constrained by the geometry of the embayment. A simple Geometric HV calculation method is presented and numerical model results are used to illustrate that for calculating HVC, the results using two daily‐averaged profiles are typically more accurate than those of the standard method that interpolates bimonthly cruise data. Bimonthly data produce less accurate estimates of HVC because high‐frequency changes in oxygen concentration, for example, due to regional‐weather‐ or storm‐induced changes in wind direction and magnitude, are not resolved. The advantages of supplementing cruise‐based sampling with continuous vertical profiles to estimate HVC should be applicable to other systems where hypoxic water is constrained to a specific area by bathymetry.
  • Dataset
    Observations of turbulence and the geometry and circulation of windrows in a small bay in the St. Lawrence Estuary
    ( 2019-11-07) Zippel, Seth F. ; Maksym, Ted ; Scully, Malcolm E. ; Sutherland, Peter ; Dumont, Dany
    Measurements of ocean turbulence, waves, and the geometry and circulation of windrows were made over 5 days in early March in a small bay in the St. Lawrence Estuary. Measurements were made from a small zodiac and from a SWIFT drifter. Two acoustic doppler velocity profilers (ADCPs) were used from the zodiac to measure water velocity and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) dissipation rates near the surface. The acoustic backscatter from the ADCPs was used in conjunction with a GPS to map the location and spacing of wind aligned rows of bubbles. The SWIFT drifter provided measurements of waves, wind stress, and secondary measurements of TKE dissipation rates. Imagery of the surface was taken with a GoPro camera mounted on the zodiac, and with a DJI MavicPro quadcopter.
  • Article
    Broadband acoustic quantification of stratified turbulence
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2013-07) Lavery, Andone C. ; Geyer, W. Rockwell ; Scully, Malcolm E.
    High-frequency broadband acoustic scattering techniques have enabled the remote, high-resolution imaging and quantification of highly salt-stratified turbulence in an estuary. Turbulent salinity spectra in the stratified shear layer have been measured acoustically and by in situ turbulence sensors. The acoustic frequencies used span 120–600 kHz, which, for the highly stratified and dynamic estuarine environment, correspond to wavenumbers in the viscous-convective subrange (500–2500 m−1). The acoustically measured spectral levels are in close agreement with spectral levels measured with closely co-located micro-conductivity probes. The acoustically measured spectral shapes allow discrimination between scattering dominated by turbulent salinity microstructure and suspended sediments or swim-bladdered fish, the two primary sources of scattering observed in the estuary in addition to turbulent salinity microstructure. The direct comparison of salinity spectra inferred acoustically and by the in situ turbulence sensors provides a test of both the acoustic scattering model and the quantitative skill of acoustical remote sensing of turbulence dissipation in a strongly sheared and salt-stratified estuary.
  • Article
    The contribution of physical processes to inter-annual variations of hypoxia in Chesapeake Bay : a 30-yr modeling study
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-07-29) Scully, Malcolm E.
    A numerical circulation model with a very simple representation of dissolved oxygen dynamics is used to simulate hypoxia in Chesapeake Bay for the 30-yr period 1984–2013. The model assumes that the biological utilization of dissolved oxygen is constant in both time and space in an attempt to isolate the role that physical processes play in modulating oxygen dynamics. Despite the simplicity of the model it demonstrates skill in simulating the observed inter-annual variability of hypoxic volume, capturing 50% of the observed variability in hypoxic volume (<2 mg L−1) for the month of July and 58% of the observed variability for the month of August, over the 30-yr period. Model skill increases throughout the summer suggesting that physical processes play a more important role in modulating hypoxia later in the summer. Model skill is better for hypoxic volumes than for anoxic volumes. In fact, a simple regression based on the integrated January–June Susquehanna River nitrogen load can explain more of the variability in the observed anoxic volumes than the model presented here. Model results suggest that the mean summer (June–August) wind speed is the single-most important physical variable contributing to variations in hypoxic volumes. Previous studies have failed to document the importance of summer wind speed because they have relied on winds measured at Patuxent Naval Air Station, which does not capture the observed inter-annual variations in wind speed that are observed by stations that directly measure wind over the waters of Chesapeake Bay.
  • Article
    Generation of internal solitary waves by lateral circulation in a stratified estuary
    (American Meteorological Society, 2017-07-03) Xie, Xiaohui ; Li, Ming ; Scully, Malcolm E. ; Boicourt, William C.
    Internal solitary waves are commonly observed in the coastal ocean where they are known to contribute to mass transport and turbulent mixing. While these waves are often generated by cross-isobath barotropic tidal currents, novel observations are presented suggesting that internal solitary waves result from along-isobath tidal flows over channel-shoal bathymetry. Mooring and ship-based velocity, temperature, and salinity data were collected over a cross-channel section in a stratified estuary. The data show that Ekman forcing on along-channel tidal currents drives lateral circulation, which interacts with the stratified water over the deep channel to generate a supercritical mode-2 internal lee wave. This lee wave propagates onto the shallow shoal and evolves into a group of internal solitary waves of elevation due to nonlinear steepening. These observations highlight the potential importance of three-dimensionality on the conversion of tidal flow to internal waves in the rotating ocean.
  • Article
    Axial wind effects on stratification and longitudinal sediment transport in a convergent estuary during wet season
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-01-17) Chen, Lianghong ; Gong, Wenping ; Scully, Malcolm E. ; Zhang, Heng ; Cheng, Weicong ; Li, Wei
    The Coupled Ocean‐Atmosphere‐Wave‐Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system was used to examine axial wind effects on vertical stratification and sediment transport in a convergent estuary. The model demonstrated that stratification dynamics in the upper estuary (Kelvin number <1; Ke= fB/√ g'hs) are dominated by longitudinal wind straining, whereas the dominant mechanism governing estuarine stratification in the lower estuary (Kelvin number ~1) is lateral wind straining. Barotropic advection contributes to seaward sediment transport and peaks during spring tides, whereas estuarine circulation causes landward sediment transport with a maximum during neap tides. Down‐estuary winds impose no obvious effects on longitudinal sediment flux, whereas up‐estuary winds contribute to enhanced seaward sediment flux by increasing the tidal oscillatory flux. The model also demonstrates that bottom friction is significantly influenced by vertical stratification over channel regions, which is indirectly affected by axial winds.
  • Article
    Turbulent mixing in a strongly forced salt wedge estuary
    (American Geophysical Union, 2010-12-09) Ralston, David K. ; Geyer, W. Rockwell ; Lerczak, James A. ; Scully, Malcolm E.
    Turbulent mixing of salt is examined in a shallow salt wedge estuary with strong fluvial and tidal forcing. A numerical model of the Merrimack River estuary is used to quantify turbulent stress, shear production, and buoyancy flux. Little mixing occurs during flood tides despite strong velocities because bottom boundary layer turbulence is dislocated from stratification elevated in the water column. During ebbs, bottom salinity fronts form at a series of bathymetric transitions. At the fronts, near-bottom velocity and shear stress are low, but shear, stress, and buoyancy flux are elevated at the pycnocline. Internal shear layers provide the dominant source of mixing during the early ebb. Later in the ebb, the pycnocline broadens and moves down such that boundary layer turbulence dominates mixing. Mixing occurs primarily during ebbs, with internal shear mixing accounting for about 50% of the total buoyancy flux. Both the relative contribution of internal shear mixing and the mixing efficiency increase with discharge, with bulk mixing efficiencies between 0.02 and 0.07. Buoyancy fluxes in the estuary increase with discharge up to about 400 m3 s−1 above which a majority of the mixing occurs offshore. Observed buoyancy fluxes were more consistent with the k-ɛ turbulence closure than the Mellor-Yamada closure, and more total mixing occurred in the estuary with k-ɛ. Calculated buoyancy fluxes were sensitive to horizontal grid resolution, as a lower resolution grid yielded less integrated buoyancy flux in the estuary and exported lower salinity water but likely had greater numerical mixing.
  • Article
    The impact of wind forcing on the thermal wind shear of a river plume
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-10-31) Mazzini, Piero L. F. ; Chant, Robert J. ; Scully, Malcolm E. ; Wilkin, John L. ; Hunter, Elias J. ; Nidzieko, Nicholas J.
    A 38-day long time series obtained using a combination of moored Wirewalkers equipped with conductivity-temperature-depth profilers and bottom-mounted and subsurface acoustic Doppler current profilers provided detailed high-resolution observations that resolved near-surface velocity and vertical and cross-shelf density gradients of the Chesapeake Bay plume far field. This unprecedented data set allowed for a detailed investigation of the impact of wind forcing on the thermal wind shear of a river plume. Our results showed that thermal wind balance was a valid approximation for the cross-shelf momentum balance over the entire water column during weak winds (|𝜏w 𝑦 | < 0.075 Pa), and it was also valid within the interior during moderate downwelling (−0.125< 𝜏w 𝑦 < −0.075 Pa). Stronger wind conditions, however, resulted in the breakdown of the thermal wind balance in the Chesapeake Bay plume, with thermal wind shear overestimating the observed shear during downwelling and underestimating during upwelling conditions. A momentum budget analysis suggests that viscous stresses from wind-generated turbulence are mainly responsible for the generation of ageostrophic shear.
  • Article
    A diel method of estimating gross primary production: 2. Application to 7 years of near-surface dissolved oxygen data in Chesapeake Bay.
    (American Geophysical Union, 2018-11-25) Scully, Malcolm E.
    A diel method for estimating gross primary production (GPP) is applied to nearly continuous measurements of near‐surface dissolved oxygen collected at seven locations throughout the main stem of Chesapeake Bay. The data were collected through the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System and span the period 2010–2016. At all locations, GPP exhibits pronounced seasonal variability consistent temperature‐dependent phytoplankton growth. At the Susquehanna Buoy, which is located within the estuarine turbidity maximum, rates of GPP are negatively correlated with uncalibrated turbidity data consistent with light limitation at this location. The highest rates of GPP are located immediately down Bay from the estuarine turbidity maximum and decrease moving seaward consistent with nutrient limitation. Rates of GPP at the mouth (First Landing Buoy) are roughly a factor of 3 lower than the rates in the upper Bay (Patapsco). At interannual time scales, the summer (June–July) rate of GPP averaged over all stations is positively correlated (r2 = 0.62) with the March Susquehanna River discharge and a multiple regression model that includes spring river discharge, and summer water temperature can explain most (r2 = 0.88) of the interannual variance in the observed rate of GPP. The correlation with river discharge is consistent with an increase in productivity fueled by increased nutrient loading. More generally, the spatial and temporal patterns inferred using this method are consistent with our current understanding of primary production in the Bay, demonstrating the potential this method has for making highly resolved measurements in less well studied estuarine systems.
  • Article
    Observations of the transfer of energy and momentum to the oceanic surface boundary layer beneath breaking waves
    (American Meteorological Society, 2016-06-02) Scully, Malcolm E. ; Trowbridge, John H. ; Fisher, Alexander W.
    Measurements just beneath the ocean surface demonstrate that the primary mechanism by which energy from breaking waves is transmitted into the water column is through the work done by the covariance of turbulent pressure and velocity fluctuations. The convergence in the vertical transport of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) balances the dissipation rate of TKE at first order and is nearly an order of magnitude greater than the sum of the integrated Eulerian and Stokes shear production. The measured TKE transport is consistent with a simple conceptual model that assumes roughly half of the surface flux of TKE by wave breaking is transmitted to depths greater than the significant wave height. During conditions when breaking waves are inferred, the direction of momentum flux is more aligned with the direction of wave propagation than with the wind direction. Both the energy and momentum fluxes occur at frequencies much lower than the wave band, consistent with the time scales associated with wave breaking. The largest instantaneous values of momentum flux are associated with strong downward vertical velocity perturbations, in contrast to the pressure work, which is associated with strong drops in pressure and upward vertical velocity perturbations.
  • Article
    Wind-wave effects on estuarine turbulence : a comparison of observations and second-moment closure predictions
    (American Meteorological Society, 2018-04-19) Fisher, Alexander W. ; Sanford, Lawrence P. ; Scully, Malcolm E.
    Observations of turbulent kinetic energy, dissipation, and turbulent stress were collected in the middle reaches of Chesapeake Bay and were used to assess second-moment closure predictions of turbulence generated beneath breaking waves. Dissipation scaling indicates that the turbulent flow structure observed during a 10-day wind event was dominated by a three-layer response that consisted of 1) a wave transport layer, 2) a surface log layer, and 3) a tidal, bottom boundary layer limited by stable stratification. Below the wave transport layer, turbulent mixing was limited by stable stratification. Within the wave transport layer, where dissipation was balanced by a divergence in the vertical turbulent kinetic energy flux, the eddy viscosity was significantly underestimated by second-moment turbulence closure models, suggesting that breaking waves homogenized the mixed surface layer to a greater extent than the simple model of TKE diffusing away from a source at the surface. While the turbulent transport of TKE occurred largely downgradient, the intermittent downward sweeps of momentum generated by breaking waves occurred largely independent of the mean shear. The underprediction of stress in the wave transport layer by second-moment closures was likely due to the inability of the eddy viscosity model to capture the nonlocal turbulent transport of the momentum flux beneath breaking waves. Finally, the authors hypothesize that large-scale coherent turbulent eddies played a significant role in transporting momentum generated near the surface to depth.
  • Article
    The cospectrum of stress-carrying turbulence in the presence of surface gravity waves
    (American Meteorological Society, 2017-12-28) Trowbridge, John H. ; Scully, Malcolm E. ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    The cospectrum of the horizontal and vertical turbulent velocity fluctuations, an essential tool for understanding measurements of the turbulent Reynolds shear stress, often departs in the ocean from the shape that has been established in the atmospheric surface layer. Here, we test the hypothesis that this departure is caused by advection of standard boundary layer turbulence by the random oscillatory velocities produced by surface gravity waves. The test is based on a model with two elements. The first is a representation of the spatial structure of the turbulence, guided by rapid distortion theory, and consistent with the one-dimensional cospectra that have been measured in the atmosphere. The second model element is a map of the spatial structure of the turbulence to the temporal fluctuations measured at fixed sensors, assuming advection of frozen turbulence by the velocities associated with surface waves. The model is adapted to removal of the wave velocities from the turbulent fluctuations using spatial filtering. The model is tested against previously published laboratory measurements under wave-free conditions and two new sets of measurements near the seafloor in the coastal ocean in the presence of waves. Although quantitative discrepancies exist, the model captures the dominant features of the laboratory and field measurements, suggesting that the underlying model physics are sound.
  • Article
    Challenges associated with modeling low-oxygen waters in Chesapeake Bay : a multiple model comparison
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2016-04-06) Irby, Isaac D. ; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M. ; Friedrichs, Carl T. ; Bever, Aaron J. ; Hood, Raleigh R. ; Lanerolle, Lyon W. J. ; Li, Ming ; Linker, Lewis ; Scully, Malcolm E. ; Sellner, Kevin G. ; Shen, Jian ; Testa, Jeremy M. ; Wang, Hao ; Wang, Ping ; Xia, Meng
    As three-dimensional (3-D) aquatic ecosystem models are used more frequently for operational water quality forecasts and ecological management decisions, it is important to understand the relative strengths and limitations of existing 3-D models of varying spatial resolution and biogeochemical complexity. To this end, 2-year simulations of the Chesapeake Bay from eight hydrodynamic-oxygen models have been statistically compared to each other and to historical monitoring data. Results show that although models have difficulty resolving the variables typically thought to be the main drivers of dissolved oxygen variability (stratification, nutrients, and chlorophyll), all eight models have significant skill in reproducing the mean and seasonal variability of dissolved oxygen. In addition, models with constant net respiration rates independent of nutrient supply and temperature reproduced observed dissolved oxygen concentrations about as well as much more complex, nutrient-dependent biogeochemical models. This finding has significant ramifications for short-term hypoxia forecasts in the Chesapeake Bay, which may be possible with very simple oxygen parameterizations, in contrast to the more complex full biogeochemical models required for scenario-based forecasting. However, models have difficulty simulating correct density and oxygen mixed layer depths, which are important ecologically in terms of habitat compression. Observations indicate a much stronger correlation between the depths of the top of the pycnocline and oxycline than between their maximum vertical gradients, highlighting the importance of the mixing depth in defining the region of aerobic habitat in the Chesapeake Bay when low-oxygen bottom waters are present. Improvement in hypoxia simulations will thus depend more on the ability of models to reproduce the correct mean and variability of the depth of the physically driven surface mixed layer than the precise magnitude of the vertical density gradient.
  • Article
    The role of advection, straining, and mixing on the tidal variability of estuarine stratification
    (American Meteorological Society, 2012-05) Scully, Malcolm E. ; Geyer, W. Rockwell
    Data from the Hudson River estuary demonstrate that the tidal variations in vertical salinity stratification are not consistent with the patterns associated with along-channel tidal straining. These observations result from three additional processes not accounted for in the traditional tidal straining model: 1) along-channel and 2) lateral advection of horizontal gradients in the vertical salinity gradient and 3) tidal asymmetries in the strength of vertical mixing. As a result, cross-sectionally averaged values of the vertical salinity gradient are shown to increase during the flood tide and decrease during the ebb. Only over a limited portion of the cross section does the observed stratification increase during the ebb and decrease during the flood. These observations highlight the three-dimensional nature of estuarine flows and demonstrate that lateral circulation provides an alternate mechanism that allows for the exchange of materials between surface and bottom waters, even when direct turbulent mixing through the pycnocline is prohibited by strong stratification.
  • Article
    Surface wave effects on the translation of wind stress across the air–sea interface in a fetch-limited, coastal embayment
    (American Meteorological Society, 2017-07-13) Fisher, Alexander W. ; Sanford, Lawrence P. ; Scully, Malcolm E. ; Suttles, Steven E.
    The role of surface gravity waves in structuring the air–sea momentum flux is examined in the middle reaches of Chesapeake Bay. Observed wave spectra showed that wave direction in Chesapeake Bay is strongly correlated with basin geometry. Waves preferentially developed in the direction of maximum fetch, suggesting that dominant wave frequencies may be commonly and persistently misaligned with local wind forcing. Direct observations from an ultrasonic anemometer and vertical array of ADVs show that the magnitude and direction of stress changed across the air–sea interface, suggesting that a stress divergence occurred at or near the water surface. Using a numerical wave model in combination with direct flux measurements, the air–sea momentum flux was partitioned between the surface wave field and the mean flow. Results indicate that the surface wave field can store or release a significant fraction of the total momentum flux depending on the direction of the wind. When wind blew across dominant fetch axes, the generation of short gravity waves stored as much as 40% of the total wind stress. Accounting for the storage of momentum in the surface wave field closed the air–sea momentum budget. Agreement between the direction of Lagrangian shear and the direction of the stress vector in the mixed surface layer suggests that the observed directional difference was due to the combined effect of breaking waves producing downward sweeps of momentum in the direction of wave propagation and the straining of that vorticity field in a manner similar to Langmuir turbulence.
  • Dataset
    Data to accompany “Direct observation of wave-coherent pressure work in the atmospheric boundary layer”
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2022-12-29) Zippel, Seth F. ; Edson, James B. ; Scully, Malcolm E. ; Keefe, Oaklin
    As described in the methods section of “Direct Observation of Wave-coherent Pressure Work in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer”: Measurements were made from an open-lattice steel tower deployed in roughly 13 m water depth in Buzzards Bay, MA. Buzzards Bay is a 48 km by 12 km basin open on the SW side to Rhode Island Sound. The average depth is 11 m, with a tide range of 1 to 1.5 m, depending on the neap/spring cycles. Winds in Buzzards Bay are frequently aligned on the long-axis (from the NE or SW), and are commonly strong, particularly in the fall and winter. The tower was deployed near the center of the bay at 41.577638 N, 70.745555 W for a spring deployment lasting from April 12, 2022 to June 13th, 2022. Atmospheric measurements included three primary instrument booms that housed paired sonic anemometers (RM Young 81000RE) and high-resolution pressure sensors (Paros Scientific). The pressure sensor intakes were terminated with static pressure heads, which reduce the dynamic pressure contribution to the measured (static) pressure. The tower booms were aligned at 280 degrees such that the NE and SW winds would be unobstructed by the tower's main body. A fourth sonic anemometer (Gill R3) was extended above the tower such that it was open to all wind directions and clear of wake by the tower structure. A single point lidar (Riegl LD90-3i) was mounted to the highest boom, such that the lidar measured the water surface elevation underneath the anemometer and pressure sensors to within a few centimeters horizontally. All instruments were time synchronized with a custom "miniNode" flux logger, that aggregated the data streams from each instrument. Additional atmospheric and wave measurements on the tower included short-wave and long-wave radiometers (Kipp & Zonen), two RH/T sensors (Vaisala), and a standard lower-resolution barometer (Setra).