Journal article

A note on ocean surface drift with application to surface velocities measured with HF Radar

John AT Bye, Joerg-Olaf Wolff, Karsten A Lettmann



The ocean drift current consists of a (local) pure drift current generated by the interaction of wind and waves at the sea surface, to which the surface geostrophic current is added vectorially. We present (a) a similarity solution for the wave boundary layer (which has been validated through the prediction of the 10-m drag law), from which the component of pure drift current along the direction of the wind (and hence the speed factor) can be evaluated from the 10-m wind speed and the peak wave period, and (b) a similarity solution for the Ekman layers of the two fluids, which shows that under steady-state neutral conditions the pure drift current lies along the direction of the geostrophic ..

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Funding Acknowledgements

JATB gratefully acknowledges the award of a Fellowship at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Delmenhorst, Germany in the first half of 2013 during which this study was carried out in the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea (ICBM), University of Oldenburg. Informed comments by Professor Yutaka Yoshikawa and two other Reviewers are also especially acknowledged.