Wave breaking significantly affects the exchange process between ocean and atmosphere. This paper aims to simulate the upper ocean dynamics under the influence of wave breaking, which may help to figure out the transport of energy by these breakers.
The authors use a breaker-LES model to simulate the oceanic boundary layer in hurricane conditions, in which breakers become the main source of momentum and energy instead of traditional wind stress.
The mean horizontal velocities and energy increase rapidly with wind speed, reflecting that input from atmosphere dominates the coherent structure in the upper ocean. The penetration ability of a breaker limits its effective depth and thus the total turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) decreases sharply near the surface. Langmuir circulation is the main source of TKE in deeper water. The authors compared the dissipation rate (e) in the simulations with two estimates and found that the model tends to the scaling of ε∼z–3.4 at extreme wind speeds.
The probability distribution of breakers is also discussed based on the balance between the input from atmosphere and output by wave breaking. The authors considered the contribution of micro-scale breakers and revaluated the probability density function. The results show stability in hurricane conditions.
Wan, Z., Lü, X., Jiawang, C., Song, T. and Luo, S. (2019), "Effects of wave breaking on the oceanic boundary layer in hurricane conditions", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 1167-1177. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-09-2018-0508Download as .RIS
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