Poster Session 1, Monday,  October  3, 15:40–18:00

Poster 77

Observations of hyperspectral reflectance and upper ocean physics during wave breaking in the coastal ocean

Breaking waves enhance the transport of gas, momentum and heat between the atmosphere and ocean, facilitating climate-relevant physical and chemical processes. Despite their substantial relevance to climate, contemporary ocean models cannot numerically resolve the small-scale boundary layer structure due to computational expenses and will require parameterizations based on field observations. Decades of effort have shown that breaking waves and bubbles can be difficult to measure, describe analytically and parameterize using forcing. Since breaking waves have a marked impact on ocean color, we seek to use reflectance measurements in the visible and NIR of the submerged air cavity, fresh and decaying foam and bubbles as a proxy for the dissipative processes associated with wave breaking. Using measurements of wave breaking processes above and below the surface from two experiments conducted in the coastal ocean, we have begun to explore how the near surface manifestation of breaking waves relates to subsurface turbulence with the goal of developing ocean color derived metrics to estimate wave-driven turbulence near the air-sea interface. The dataset includes atmospheric and ocean side turbulence measurements, wave statistics, hyperspectral reflectance, and particle size distributions.

Kaylan Randolph, University of Connecticut, [email protected]

Alejandro Cifuentes-Lorenzen, University of Connecticut, [email protected] 

Heidi Dierssen, University of Connecticut, [email protected] 

Christopher Zappa, Columbia University, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, [email protected]

James O’Donnell, University of Connecticut, [email protected] 

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