g104_class17_wind_driven_currents

g104_class17_wind_driven_currents - Geography 104 -

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Wind Driven Circulation - wind energy to the ocean is a “wind stress” - wind directly drives currents at ~2 - 3% of wind speed - wind directly drives currents to right/left of wind in NH/SH - wind driven currents set up variations in sea level - surface waves transport wind energy over long distances - turbulent mixing dissipates energy from wind Geography 104 - “Physical Geography of the World’s Oceans”
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Wind Stress (overview) - forces give rise to ocean circulation - wind stress is a frictional force parallel (tangential) to the sea surface per unit area - effect of wind stress is to accelerate ocean’s surface layer
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Wind Stress (details) - τ (Greek letter tau) represents wind stress - τ = ρ a c D u 2 ρ a is air density (1 kg m -3 ) c D is a drag coefficient (~1.4x10 -3 ) U 2 is wind velocity (m 2 s -2 ) - units are Newtons (force) per meter squared F = ma or 1 Newton = 1 N = 1 kg m s -2 N m -2 = kg m -1 s -2
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Wind Stress (details) wind speed drag coefficient exact processes creating wind stress are complex
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Wind Stress (summary) - many processes contribute to the transfer of momentum from the atmosphere to the ocean
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2010 for the course GEOG 104 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at UCSB.

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g104_class17_wind_driven_currents - Geography 104 -

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