Gas Transfer Velocities and Radar Backscatter from the Water Surface

by Rik Wanninkhof, Lamont-Doherty Geological, Observatory, Palisades, United States,
Larry F. Bliven, Lamont-Doherty Geological, Observatory, Palisades, United States,
David M. Glover, Lamont-Doherty Geological, Observatory, Palisades, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Air-Water Mass Transfer

Abstract: Gas transfer velocities of sulfur hexafluoride, methane, and nitrous oxide were determined in two different wind-wave tanks and related to friction velocity and radar backscatter from the water surface. Mechanically generated waves with 0.7 Hz and 2.5 Hz frequency increased the radar backscatter signal and the gas transfer velocity at friction velocities less than 50 cm/s. Gas transfer and radar backscatter were insensitive to mechanical waves at high friction velocities. At high friction velocities average backscatter was more sensitive to changes in wind speed than upwind radar return. No large differences were observed in the relationship between radar backscatter and gas transfer velocity for 13.5 gHz and 36 gHz radar units. An exponential relationship between gas transfer velocity and radar backscatter fits the data well.

Subject Headings: Radar | Wave velocity | Friction | Wave tanks | Wind waves | Wind speed | Water surface

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