6.5 Laboratory measurements of the inception and evolution of centimeter-scale Langmuir Turbulence

Tuesday, 16 August 2016: 2:30 PM
Lecture Hall (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
Fabrice Veron, University of Delaware, Newark, DE; and Y. Ma, M. Buckley, A. Tejada-Martinez, and A. Hafsi

When wind starts to blow over a quiescent air-sea interface, both currents and surface waves are initially generated. The interaction between the wind-driven waves and currents leads to the generation of Langmuir circulation (LC) consisting of counter rotating vortices aligned with the wind. Shortly thereafter, Langmuir turbulence (LT), that is multiple scales of LC, appear. In the field, LT length scales range from several centimeters when short capillary waves first appear up to tens of meters when the spectrum of waves broadens. We present results from a laboratory experiments where the evolution centimeter-scale LT is investigated. We present surface infrared imagery and subsurface Particle Image Velocimetry. We show that evolution of from organized small scale LC to LT leads to intense surface mixing thereby disrupting the near surface molecular layers. Subsurface turbulence measurements are presented in the context of scalar (gas) flux through the air-water interface.
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