A comparison of modeled and observed ocean mixed layer behavior in a sea breeze influenced coastal region
Cross, Patrick S.
Wash, Carlyle H.
Rosenfeld, Leslie R.
Garwood, Roland W.
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A high temporal resolution data set from a mooring in Monterey Bay, California was analyzed and used to calculate heat and momentum fluxes for the purpose of forcing two ocean mixed layer models. The time frame for the study was September, 1992, a period representative of the sea breeze circulation frequently affecting this and other coastal regions. The models used were that of Price, Weller and Pinkel (1986), a Richardson number based mixing model, and Garwood (1977), a model based on the turbulent kinetic energy budget within the mixed layer. Both models were analyzed with respect to their ability to reproduce the observed diurnal variation of the temperature and depth of the mixed layer. Although the model predictions agree reasonably well with observations in regards to the phase of the diurnal temperature cycle, they were seen to underpredict its magnitude, particularly the nocturnal cooling. This lack of cooling in the models relative to the ocean could be due to penetrative convection, non-steady state turbulence, and/or diurnal advection present in the ocean but not in one or both models. Additionally, the models exhibited an upward temperature trend relative to the data which caused progressively increasing stratification. This trend was used to approximate the magnitude of vertical advective effects.
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