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On the parameterization of the drag coefficient in mixed seas
Héctor García-Nava, Francisco J. Ocampo-Torres and Paul A. Hwang

An analysis of the performance of parameterizations for the drag coefficient CD over the ocean is presented. The results were obtained by considering detailed observations from the recent IntOA experiment in which a co-existence of wind sea and swell provides characteristic mixed sea conditions in a wide range of wind speeds. Recent research has advanced our understanding of air-sea fluxes, proposing new functional forms for the drag coefficient, as well as applying wavelength scaling and determining dimensionally consistent expressions for the drag coefficient. Nevertheless, a detailed analysis of the influence of wind sea parameters confirms the need to include the sea state dependence on parameterizing CD for mixed sea conditions. It is also shown that better results are obtained when aerodynamic roughness is considered as a function of wave age and wave steepness, or equivalently if CD is expressed as a function of a characteristic peak frequency defined through the wave momentum spectrum.

Keywords: drag coefficient, sea state, swell, mixed seas
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 76S1 : 177-186 Back PDF
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