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Anguelova, M. D., Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, USA, maggie.anguelova@nrl.navy.mil
Hwang, P. A., Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, USA, paul.hwang@nrl.navy.mil

SEPARATING WHITECAP FRACTION OF ACTIVE WAVE BREAKING FROM SATELLITE ESTIMATES OF TOTAL WHITECAP FRACTION

As a surface expression of breaking waves, the oceanic whitecaps are manifestation of various air-sea interaction processes. Whitecap fraction observed from satellites-borne microwave radiometers provide the total whitecap fraction W, including foam generated during active wave breaking and residual foam left behind by these breaking waves. The total fraction is important for predictions of sea spray aerosol production and heat exchange. However, the active portion WA, is necessary for evaluating processes such as turbulent mixing, gas exchange, ocean ambient noise, and spray-mediated intensification of tropical storms. It is thus highly pertinent to be able to separate WA from W. Phillips concept of breaking wave statistics connects WA with the energy dissipation rate of breaking waves. We can estimate WA by combining the Phillips concept with dissipation rate values obtained from buoy measurements of the wave spectra. We will present the principle of separating WA from W, and preliminary results from one year buoy data matched in time and space with satellite observations of W.

Session #:173
Date: 2/20/2012
Time: 14:45
Location: Ballroom C

Presentation is given by student: No