AbstractDrag coefficients (Cd) obtained through direct eddy-covariance estimates of the wind stress were observed at four different sandy beaches with dissipative surf zones along the coastline of Monterey Bay, CA, USA. The measured surfzone Cd (~2×10-3) is twice as large as open ocean estimates and consistent with recent estimates of Cd over the surf zone and shoaling region. Owing to the heterogeneous nature of the nearshore consisting of non-breaking shoaling waves and breaking surfzone waves, the surfzone wind stress source region is estimated from the footprint probability distribution derived for stable and unstable atmospheric conditions. An empirical model developed for estimating the Cd for open ocean foam coverage dependent on wind speed, is modified for foam coverage owing to depth-limited wave breaking within the surf zone. A modified empirical Cd model for surf zone foam predicts similar values as the measured Cd and provides an alternative mechanism to describe roughness.
Journal of Physical Oceanography – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jun 20, 2017
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