On Estimating the Surface Wind Stress over the Sea

Larry Mahrt, Scott Miller, Tihomir Hristov, James Edson
2018 Journal of Physical Oceanography  
Our study analyzes measurements primarily from two Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP) field programs and from the Air-Sea Interaction Tower (ASIT) site to examine the relationship between the wind and sea surface stress for contrasting conditions. The direct relationship of the surface momentum flux to U 2 is found to be better posed than the relationship between u * and U, where U is the wind speed and u * is the friction velocity. Our datasets indicate that the stress magnitude often
more » ... itude often decreases significantly with height near the surface due to thin marine boundary layers and/or enhanced stress divergence close to the sea surface. Our study attempts to correct the surface stress estimated from traditional observational levels by using multiple observational levels near the surface and extrapolating to the surface. The effect of stability on the surface stress appears to be generally smaller than errors due to the stress divergence. Definite conclusions require more extensive measurements close to the sea surface.
doi:10.1175/jpo-d-17-0267.1 fatcat:gfufe23ha5dudnnq5zostnhn3y