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.
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