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A hypothesis on momentum and heat transfer near the sea-atmosphere interface under neutral conditions is presented, which leads to the formulation of a simple model governed by the transfer properties of the young, short wavelets. The model results are coherent within a restricted range of wind speeds, from about 3 m/s to 10 m/s, chosen to guarantee single phase turbulent diffusive transport as prevailing, with a broad spectrum of measurements in wind-wave tunnels and in the field. It is concluded that there is some essential difference between wind-wave tunnels and the real sea. This could be the turbulence level of the main flow, which may influence the generation of new wavelets. It also appears that form resistance due to pressure variations is practically negligible for the wind speeds considered here. The model equations also provide an expression for the surface roughness length, which traditionally is used to describe air-sea exchange processes. The dimensionless roughness length is predicted to be constant within the assumed applicability limits of the model.

Additional information

Authors: EIFLER W, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Journal of Marine Systems, Vol. 4 (1993) pp. 133-153
Record Number: 199311372 / Last updated on: 1994-11-28
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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