Coupled Boundary Layers
Air-Sea Transfer
Low Wind Component

Extended Version of CBLAST-LOW Overview Paper (pdf)

Electronic Logbook

Project Overview: 

The long-range goal of the proposed research is to understand air-sea interaction and coupled atmospheric and oceanic boundary layer dynamics at low wind speeds where the dynamic processes are driven and/or strongly modulated by thermal forcing. During the intensive operating periods in the summers of 2001 through 2003, the low wind regime extends from the extreme situation where wind stress is negligible and thermal forcing dominates to wind speeds in which wave breaking and Langmuir circulations are also expected to play a role in the exchange processes. The short-range objectives are to obtain direct measurements of vertical fluxes (transfer) of momentum, heat and mass across the coupled boundary layers (CBLs); to map the 3-D structure of the CBLs over a range of spatial and temporal scales; to identify the processes that drive the flux and CBL structure; to develop and evaluate parameterizations of the flux-producing processes; and to test the mean and variance budgets for momentum, heat, mass, and kinetic energy. Observational components of this program will investigate the temporal and spatial evolution of the CBLs over vertical scales of centimeters to 100's of m, horizontal scales of 10 m to 10’s of km, and time scales of minutes to months. Mesoscale models, large eddy simulations (LES), and direct numerical simulations (DNS) will provide nowcasts, forecasts, and specialized reports over similar scales. The numerical results will provide a context for interpreting our measurements, while our measurements will provide a means to initialize and evaluate the estimates of turbulent fluxes and dissipation rates calculated by these models.

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