83rd Annual

Tuesday, 11 February 2003: 1:59 PM
Momentum and Heat Flux effects on West Florida Shelf temperatures
Jyotika I. Virmani, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL; and R. He and R. H. Weisberg
The water column temperature on the West Florida Shelf responds to air-sea interactions through a combination of surface momentum and heat fluxes, the relative influences of which depends on time scale. Momentum flux, through shelf-wide winds, causes upwelling and downwelling circulations that alter the water column temperature depending on the temperature gradient structure and the three-dimensional advective response. Surface heat flux contributes to these changes locally. These two factors are linked since the turbulence structure that vertically distributes the temperature effect of the surface heat flux may be set by the momentum flux and the ensuing circulation response. Seasonal factors also come into play due to water column stability. We use several years of in-situ measurements from the West Florida Shelf to investigate the water column temperature variability on seasonal and synoptic time scales. Seasonal features are largely surface heat flux induced, but with feedbacks due to the wind-driven circulation. Synoptic scale features result from a combination of momentum and heat flux influences, and surprises may occur, such as upwelling-induced warming. Our interpretations are based on data analyses, a one-dimensional diagnostic model, and a three-dimensional primitive equation model.

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