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Subsurface structure of an atmospherically forced water column in littoral waters

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Date Issued:
2002
Summary:
The developing subsurface structure of a shallow sub-tropical water column during the passage of cold low-pressure atmospheric front is characterized through synoptic and in-situ observations during the passage of three separate fronts over South Florida. Subsurface distribution of current, salinity, temperature, density and dissipation rates were examined using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), ship-based instruments, moored instruments and an Ocean Surface Current Radar (OSCR) as the fronts passed through the region. Airfoil shear probes mounted in a package on the nose of the AUV were used to measure the level and distribution of small-scale turbulence in the water column and to estimate the in-situ dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy. Prevailing meteorological conditions were determined from two NOAA C-MAN stations and, for two of the experiments, from a local Air Sea Interaction Spar buoy (ASIS). The first atmospheric front examined was in December 1998. A significant 10°C drop in air temperature was recorded. The AUV carried out several pre-programmed surveys over a 6-day period. A turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rates of O(10-6W/kg) were observed in the water column during the passage of the front. Fetch-limited, offshore, wind-induced surface and subsurface currents were identified during the passage of the front on April 9, 2000. As the winds increased in magnitude and shifted direction, a change in surface current was apparent in the OSCR observations. A bottom-mounted ADCP and an AUV-mounted ADCP both recorded distinct corresponding contributions to the subsurface current due to the winds. Clockwise rotation of the current profile in the water column, consistent with wind-generated currents, was observed. A third low-pressure cold front passed through the region on April 18 an 19, 2000. AUV surveys were carried out as the front passed over the region for 19 hours within a 24-hour period. Dissipation rates reached O(10 -6W/kg) during the period of the survey and decreased to O(10 -8W/kg) subsequently. The distribution of dissipation rate appeared to agree with the characteristic log law for wind-induced turbulence at the start of the passage of the front, but was significantly higher subsequently and more dependent on the combination of convective fluxes and wind stress.
Title: Subsurface structure of an atmospherically forced water column in littoral waters.
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Name(s): Chernys, Michael.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Dhanak, Manhar R., Thesis advisor
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2002
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 187 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The developing subsurface structure of a shallow sub-tropical water column during the passage of cold low-pressure atmospheric front is characterized through synoptic and in-situ observations during the passage of three separate fronts over South Florida. Subsurface distribution of current, salinity, temperature, density and dissipation rates were examined using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), ship-based instruments, moored instruments and an Ocean Surface Current Radar (OSCR) as the fronts passed through the region. Airfoil shear probes mounted in a package on the nose of the AUV were used to measure the level and distribution of small-scale turbulence in the water column and to estimate the in-situ dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy. Prevailing meteorological conditions were determined from two NOAA C-MAN stations and, for two of the experiments, from a local Air Sea Interaction Spar buoy (ASIS). The first atmospheric front examined was in December 1998. A significant 10°C drop in air temperature was recorded. The AUV carried out several pre-programmed surveys over a 6-day period. A turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rates of O(10-6W/kg) were observed in the water column during the passage of the front. Fetch-limited, offshore, wind-induced surface and subsurface currents were identified during the passage of the front on April 9, 2000. As the winds increased in magnitude and shifted direction, a change in surface current was apparent in the OSCR observations. A bottom-mounted ADCP and an AUV-mounted ADCP both recorded distinct corresponding contributions to the subsurface current due to the winds. Clockwise rotation of the current profile in the water column, consistent with wind-generated currents, was observed. A third low-pressure cold front passed through the region on April 18 an 19, 2000. AUV surveys were carried out as the front passed over the region for 19 hours within a 24-hour period. Dissipation rates reached O(10 -6W/kg) during the period of the survey and decreased to O(10 -8W/kg) subsequently. The distribution of dissipation rate appeared to agree with the characteristic log law for wind-induced turbulence at the start of the passage of the front, but was significantly higher subsequently and more dependent on the combination of convective fluxes and wind stress.
Identifier: 9780493721958 (isbn), 12001 (digitool), FADT12001 (IID), fau:8916 (fedora)
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): College of Engineering and Computer Science
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2002.
Subject(s): Turbulence--Measurement
Oceanographic submersibles
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FADT12001
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.