Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Oceanography

Department

Oceanography

First Advisor

Tetsu Hara

Abstract

Based on analyses of infrared images of the air-water interface, a new model of surface tracer flux is presented (eddy renewal model). In contrast to the currently used model (surface renewal model), which assumes that water motions are driven solely by breaking event-like conditions (or sudden bursts of turbulence), the new model posits that water motions are driven by Langmuir-like turbulent eddies (or more steady-state conditions). These wind-generated turbulent eddies arrange to create elongated warm patches of upwelled water between long streaks of colder downwelling water. In analyzing the images taken during GasEx2001 expedition in 2001 in the Equatorial Pacific waters and laboratory experiments in the AEOLOTRON wind wave tank at University of Heidelberg in October 2004, both breaking event-like motions and Langmuir-like eddies are present, and thus the new model complements the old (as opposed to replacing it). Analysis of the bulk temperature estimates from the new model show that they are quite similar to those from the old model, and, perhaps, hint at conditions where one model may be more appropriate than the other.

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