Inertial-dissipation methods and turbulent fluxes at the air-ocean interface

C. W. Fairall, Søren Ejling Larsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The use of high frequency atmospheric turbulence properties (inertial subrange spectra, structure function parameters or dissipation rates) to infer surface fluxes of momentum, sensible heat and latent heat is more practical for most ocean going platforms than direct covariance measurement. The relationships required to deduce the fluxes from such data are examined in detail in this paper and several ambiguities and uncertainties are identified. It is noted that, over water, data on water vapor properties (the dimensionless functions for the mean profile, the structure function parameter and the variance transport term) are extremely sparse and the influence of sea spray is largely unknown. Special attention is given to flux estimation on the basis of the structure function formalism. Existing knowledge about the relevant similarity functions is summarized and discussed in light of the ambiguities identified above.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)287-301
    Publication statusPublished - 1986


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