O(10-300M) SCALE VORTICITY AND DIVERGENCE IN THE NEARSHORE
Lenz, Paul W.
MacMahan, James H.
Orescanin, Mara S.
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Submesoscale turbulence in the nearshore is observed with purpose-built drifters to perform Lagrangian measurements of the vorticity and divergence of flows with length scales under 300 meters and on-time scales of a few minutes to a few hours. Drifters are designed with an inexpensive GPS datalogger with position error of a few centimeters and velocity error of a few centimeters per second. An accelerometer is added for measuring the rotation rate of the drifters. The drifters are fitted with four vanes for a total diameter of 1 meter to capture the vorticity at 1-meter length scale. Vorticity and divergence of nearshore submesoscale flows exceed 10,000 times the Coriolis frequency (f), which is a large departure from the large-scale geostrophic flows in the ocean. The results of this experiment describe the nearshore surface vorticity and divergence, providing further insight into surface mixing at scales smaller than 300 meters.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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