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Variations in ocean surface temperature due to near-surface flow : straining the cool skin layer

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dc.contributor.author Wells, Andrew J.
dc.contributor.author Cenedese, Claudia
dc.contributor.author Farrar, J. Thomas
dc.contributor.author Zappa, Christopher J.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-10-26T15:58:37Z
dc.date.available 2010-10-26T15:58:37Z
dc.date.issued 2009-11
dc.identifier.citation Journal of Physical Oceanography 39 (2009): 2685-2710 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/3998
dc.description Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. 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 39 (2009): 2685-2710, doi:10.1175/2009JPO3980.1. en_US
dc.description.abstract The aqueous thermal boundary layer near to the ocean surface, or skin layer, has thickness O(1 mm) and plays an important role in controlling the exchange of heat between the atmosphere and the ocean. Theoretical arguments and experimental measurements are used to investigate the dynamics of the skin layer under the influence of an upwelling flow, which is imposed in addition to free convection below a cooled water surface. Previous theories of straining flow in the skin layer are considered and a simple extension of a surface straining model is posed to describe the combination of turbulence and an upwelling flow. An additional theory is also proposed, conceptually based on the buoyancy-driven instability of a laminar straining flow cooled from above. In all three theories considered two distinct regimes are observed for different values of the Péclet number, which characterizes the ratio of advection to diffusion within the skin layer. For large Péclet numbers, the upwelling flow dominates and increases the free surface temperature, or skin temperature, to follow the scaling expected for a laminar straining flow. For small Péclet numbers, it is shown that any flow that is steady or varies over long time scales produces only a small change in skin temperature by direct straining of the skin layer. Experimental measurements demonstrate that a strong upwelling flow increases the skin temperature and suggest that the mean change in skin temperature with Péclet number is consistent with the theoretical trends for large Péclet number flow. However, all of the models considered consistently underpredict the measured skin temperature, both with and without an upwelling flow, possibly a result of surfactant effects not included in the models. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The work was initiated during the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program, where AJW was supported by a fellowship of the program. CC was supported by NSF Grant OCE-82633900. JTF was supported in part by The Penzance Endowed Fund in Support of Assistant Scientists. CJZ was supported by NSF Grant OCE-0425395 and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program Grant N00014-04-1-0621. Additional funding for this research came from the U.S. Office of Naval Research through the Coupled Boundary Layer Air-Sea Transfer Departmental Research Initiative (Grants N00014-05-10090 and N00014-05-1-0036). en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Meteorological Society en_US
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2009JPO3980.1
dc.subject Sea/ocean surface en_US
dc.subject Sea surface temperature en_US
dc.subject Surface layer en_US
dc.subject Heat budgets en_US
dc.subject Model comparison en_US
dc.title Variations in ocean surface temperature due to near-surface flow : straining the cool skin layer en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1175/2009JPO3980.1


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