# ESCI 485 Air/Sea Interaction Lesson 1 Stresses and Fluxes Dr. DeCaria

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1 ESCI 485 Air/Sea Interaction Lesson 1 Stresses and Fluxes Dr DeCaria References: An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, Holton MOMENTUM EQUATIONS The momentum equations governing the ocean or atmosphere are u 1 p + V u = + fv + Fx ρ v 1 p + V v = fu + Fy ρ w 1 p + V w = g + Fz ρ z The terms F x, F y, and F z represent dissipative effects due to molecular effects (viscosity), and are often simply referred to as friction The Boussinesq approximation ο Let density and pressure be represented by a base or reference state plus a perturbation, so that p = p ( z) + p ρ = ρ ( z) + ρ If we also assume that the base state is in hydrostatic balance, and assume that p can be ignored everywhere except where it is multiplied by gravity, we get the Boussinesq approximation momentum equations where and is called the buoyancy u 1 p + V u = + fv + Fx ρ v 1 p + V v = fu + Fy ρ w 1 p + V w = + b + Fz ρ z ρ b g ρ The Boussinesq approximation is valid only if compressibility effects are small

2 ο In the atmosphere this means the Boussinesq approximation can only be reasonably applied over relatively shallow layers, such as the planetary boundary layer ο In the ocean the Boussinesq approximation can often be applied over the entire depth, since water is far less compressible than air TURBULENCE Meteorological and oceanographic variables fluctuate rapidly around some base value Standard weather observations record averaged wind speed and direction, not instantaneous speed and direction ο In the US the standard wind speed is a two-minute average for synoptic observations The rapidly fluctuating part is the turbulence We are also mainly interested in the time-averaged effects of the turbulence, not its instantaneous effects In order to isolate the time-averaged effects of turbulence from the mean values of the variables themselves, we perform Reynolds averaging REYNOLDS AVERAGING First decompose all of the dependent variables into mean and perturbation quantities u = u + u v = v + v w = w + w p = p + p ρ = ρ + ρ ο The mean quantities, symbolized with the over-bar symbol ( ) are time averaged quantities given by t+ τ 1 F = F( x, y, z, t ) dt τ where τ is the averaging interval 2 t

3 ο The mean quantities are not necessarily constant in time or space ο The perturbation quantities are symbolized with a prime ( ) After decomposing the dependent variables into mean and perturbation quantities we again time average the equations The rules for the time-averaging operator: ο The sum of two means is the mean of the sum: A + B = A + B ο The mean of a mean is just the mean (very Zen-like): A = A ο The mean of a single perturbation is zero: A = ο The mean of the product of two means is just the product of the two means: AB = AB ο The mean of the product containing a single perturbation is zero: A B = ο The mean of the product of two perturbations is NOT zero: A B Example of Reynolds averaging the total derivative ( u + u ) + u = u + u z ( u + u ) ( u + u ) + ( v + v ) ( u + u ) + ( w + w ) ( u + u ) which, when applying or rules for averaging, becomes u u u u u u u + u + v + w + u + v + w z z For an incompressible fluid it turns out that u u w u + v + w = z z ( u u ) + ( v u ) + ( w u ) so that the total derivative in the u-momentum equation is u u u u + u + v + w + u u + v u + w u z z 3

4 The Reynolds averaged momentum equations are where Du 1 p = + f v u u + v u + w u Dt ρ x y z Dv 1 p = f u u v + v v + w v Dt ρ x y z Dw 1 p ρ = g u w + v w + w w Dt ρ z ρ z D Dt + u + v + w z The over-barred terms are turbulent momentum fluxes In most applications we can usually ignore these terms because they are small compared to the other terms in the equations However, in the atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers the turbulent momentum fluxes are important The thermodynamic energy equation for the atmosphere is DT Dt + g c p 4 w = J where J is the heating rate due to diabatic processes (latent heat release, radiation, etc) ο The Reynolds averaged thermodynamic energy equation is DT g + w + u T + v T + w T = J Dt c z p ο The over-barred terms are turbulent heat fluxes The conservation equation for water vapor is Dρ v Dt = P L, where ρ v is the absolute humidity (mass of water vapor per volume of air), P represents processes which produce water vapor (eg, evaporation and sublimation), and L represents loss processes (eg, condensation and deposition) ο The Reynolds averaged equation for water vapor is Dρv + u ρ v + v ρ v + w ρ v = P L Dt z

5 ο The overbarred terms are turbulent moisture fluxes ο Moisture flux is sometimes called latent heat flux, because as the moisture condenses it releases heat For air/sea interaction we are most concerned with the vertical fluxes (those with the w ) We will usually ignore the horizontal fluxes MORE ON FLUXES A dynamic flux is defined as the flow of a quantity per unit area per unit time A kinematic flux is defined as the dynamic flux divided by the density To show that a term like w u is a kinematic momentum flux, we look at the units ο w u has units of m 2 /s 2 ο Kinematic momentum flux has units of ( momentum) ( area)( time)( density) ( kg m / s) 2 m = = ( m )( s)( kg m ) s REYNOLDS STRESSES A stress is a force per unit area ο Stresses can either be normal or tangential ο Stress has same units as pressure The turbulent momentum fluxes are also known as Reynolds stresses, because their effects on the shape of a volume of fluid are identical to that from a viscous stress The relation between the momentum flux and Reynolds stress is τ ρ = u w R and so the Reynolds averaged momentum equations can be written as Du 1 p 1 τ R = + f v + Dt ρ ρ z That the Reynolds stress terms act to deform a cube of fluid is illustrated for westerly flow (u > ) as follows: 5

6 ο For westerly flow u w is usually negative, signifying a downward transport of positive momentum ο If u w decreases with height (larger magnitude, but more negative) there is more positive momentum put into the top of the cube than is removed from it at the bottom (see diagram) and the cube will deform just as if it were under a stress ο Also, since there is a net increase in momentum over the cube, the cube will accelerate This is consistent with the equation Du = u w > Dt z FLUXES AND AIR/SEA INTERACTION The atmosphere interacts with the surface of the Earth The effects of this interaction are to exchange momentum, heat, and moisture This exchange is quantified in terms of the fluxes of momentum, moisture, and heat 6

7 Thus, understanding the vertical fluxes of heat, moisture, and momentum is key to understanding air-sea interaction 7

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