Langmuir circulations in a coastal environment during CBLAST

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Authors
Elge, Murat
Subjects
Advisors
Stanton, Timothy P.
Date of Issue
2004-09
Date
Publisher
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Langmuir circulations in a coastal environment at an inner shelf site with strong tidal forcing were examined using a 4-month observation of high-resolution velocity profiles during the ONR-sponsored CBLAST-Low air-sea interaction experiment. Because of their potential contributions to mixing processes in the surface boundary layer, Langmuir circulations are important for naval operations such as ASW, MCM and Amphibious operations in littoral waters. A detection algorithm for upwelling / downwelling velocities due to Langmuir circulations was developed. Analyses focused on long-fetch, unstratified water column conditions with locally developed seas. The observations showed that strong Langmuir circulations greatly reduced water column shear arising from the tidally forced bottom boundary layer, while there was no significant effect from the strong tidal boundary layer on the formation of Langmuir cells. Long fetch conditions had the strongest vertical velocities with Langmuir number 0.1-0.4, while short fetch conditions have weaker vertical velocities with Langmuir number greater than 0.5. Cell vertical velocities were correlated with the water friction velocity, but penetration depths did not depend on forcing mechanisms. Spacing and penetration depths were correlated for increasing wind speed and wave heights whereas this correlation was not seen for constant high wind speed and wave heights.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
Oceanography
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.).
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Format
xxii, 101 p. : ill. (some col.)
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Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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