Wednesday, 6 August 2003: 10:50 AM
Air-Sea Flux influences on West Florida Shelf water temperatures
Air-sea interactions on the West Florida Shelf are responsible for controlling water column temperatures. The relative influence of surface heat and momentum fluxes depend on spatial and temporal scales. Momentum fluxes, in the form of shelf-wide winds, affect water temperatures via ocean dynamical effects such as upwelling, downwelling, and advection. Heat fluxes affect water temperature locally via surface heating or cooling. Several years of in-situ air-sea measurements, a one-dimensional diagnostic model, and a three-dimensional primitive equation model are used to investigate the water column temperature variability on the West Florida Shelf. Observations and analyses of the temperature equation show that the seasonal cycle in water temperature is predominantly due to the surface heat flux, whereas synoptic scale variability is a result of both momentum and heat fluxes. The interplay between surface fluxes and the three-dimensional coastal ocean circulation leads to some interesting findings.