Structure of the Drift Current Observed Below Capillary-Gravity Waves

by Guillemette Caulliez, Inst de Mecanique Statistique de la, Turbulence, Marseille, France,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Quality Issues at Fossil Fuel Plants


Measurements by laser-Doppler velocimeter were performed in a wind-wave tank to investigate the structure of the water surface boundary layer under capillary-gravity wind waves in the generation area. The wave and velocity field main features were determined through the analysis of the instantaneous signals, the mean vertical profiles and the spectra and crosspectra. For moderate wind speed, these observations reveal the existence of a strong coupling between the drift current and wave development at the water surface. During the laminar to turbulent transition stage, 'convective' disturbances at the dominant wave frequency are shown within the upper 2mm layer of the water flow. These motions would be efficient for transferring momentum and gas across the top water surface boundary layer.

Subject Headings: Wind waves | Wave measurement | Wave generation | Wave tanks | Gravity waves | Drift (structural) | Water surface | Boundary layers

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