Meandering of the coastal upwelling jet near Cape Mendocino
Fasciano, William Culp.
Ramp, Steven R.
Batteen, Mary L.
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The physics of a rotating tank laboratory model, developed by Narimousa and Maxworthy (1985) to simulate the dynamics of coastal upwelling, is tested by applying the model to real ocean data from shipboard surveys in the Coaste1 Transition Zone off central California. The primary goal is to test the hypothesis that flow over bottom topography, i.e., the Mendocino Ridge, is an important mechanism for generating the meandering structure of the coastal upwelling jet. More specifically, the goal is to test the model's ability to reproduce the offshore and alongshore meandering length scales observed from satellite imagery and maps of dynamic height. Results show that the model incorrectly predicts the necessary conditions for eddy shedding in areas where this phenomenon is observed. The prediction criterion parameter (9.) is not considered physically meaningful. Evidence is presented to show that the model significantly overestimates the Richardson number along with offshore and alongshore meandering length scales of the upwelling coastal jet. Some possible explanations for this are discussed.
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