14th Conference on Interaction of the Sea and Atmosphere


Aircraft air-sea flux measurements in the Gulf of Tehuantepec

Carl A. Friehe, Univ. of California, Irvine, CA; and D. Khelif and W. K. Melville

Airborne flux, meteorological, and wave measurements were made from the NSF/NCAR EC130Q aircraft in the Gulf of Tehuantepec under strong gap winds up to ~25 m/sec at 33 m height. Statistics of flux estimates were obtained from multiple 33-m tracks flown under reasonably stationary and homogeneous conditions. Flux divergence was obtained from stack patterns flown at various distances from shore. Tracks flown at 33 m between the stacks provided the pressure gradient and advection terms in the momentum balance. Near shore, flux divergence was important and approximately balanced by the pressure gradient and advective terms; off-shore (~400 km), divergence was small and again approximately in balance with the other two terms. Data from dropsondes and the Scanning Aerosol Backscatter LIDAR (SABL) revealed that the internal boundary layer initially thins off-shore as the gap wind field spreads horizontally, and then thickens due to turbulent mixing and possible hydraulic effects.

Supported by NSF Division of Ocean Sciences.


Session 7, In Situ Air–Sea Turbulent Flux Measurements
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 3:30 PM-5:30 PM, A309

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