Parameterizing air-sea gas transfer velocity with dissipation

Esters, L, Landwehr, S, Sutherland, G, Bell, TG, Christensen, KH, Saltzman, ES, Miller, SD and Ward, B 2017 Parameterizing air-sea gas transfer velocity with dissipation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122 (4). 3041-3056.

Esters et al 2017.pdf - Published Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (1MB) | Preview
Official URL:


The air-sea gas transfer velocity k is frequently estimated as an empirical function of wind speed. However, it is widely recognized that k depends on processes other than wind speed alone. The small-eddy model, which describes periodic events of small eddies disturbing the sea surface with water from below, suggests a direct relation between k and the dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy ϵ at the air-sea interface. This relation has been proven both in laboratories and in the field in various freshwater and coastal environments, but to date has not been verified in open ocean conditions. Here, concurrent North Atlantic field observations of ϵ and eddy covariance measurements of DMS and CO2 air-sea gas flux are presented. Using ϵ measurements, we compare the small-eddy model at various depths to previously published observations. Extrapolating the measured ϵ profiles to the thickness of the viscous sublayer allows us to formulate a function of k that depends solely on the water side friction velocity , which can be inferred from direct eddy covariance measurements of the air-side friction velocity . These field observations are generally consistent with the theoretical small-eddy model. Utilizing a variable Schmidt number exponent in the model, rather than a constant value of yields improved agreement between model and observations.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Depositing User: Dr Thomas George Bell
Date made live: 05 Oct 2017 11:52
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:58

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item