# UCSB GEOG 163 - Ekman Transport (34 pages)

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## Ekman Transport

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## Ekman Transport

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Lecture Notes

Pages:
34
School:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Course:
Geog 163 - Ocean Circulation
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Unformatted text preview:

Ekman Transport Ekman transport is the direct wind driven transport of seawater Boundary layer process Steady balance among the wind stress vertical eddy viscosity Coriolis forces Story starts with Fridtjof Nansen 1898 Fridtjof Nansen One of the first scientist explorers A true pioneer in oceanography Later dedicated life to refugee issues Won Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 Nansen s Fram Nansen built the Fram to reach North Pole Unique design to be locked in the ice Idea was to lock ship in the ice wait Once close dog team set out to NP Fram Ship Locked in Ice 1893 1896 Nansen got to 86 o 14 N Ekman Transport Nansen noticed that movement of the ice locked ship was 20 40o to right of the wind Nansen figured this was due to a steady balance of friction wind stress Coriolis forces Ekman did the math Ekman Transport Motion is to the right of the wind Ekman Transport The ocean is more like a layer cake A layer is accelerated by the one above it slowed by the one beneath it Top layer is driven by w Transport of momentum into interior is inefficient Ekman Spiral Top layer balance of w friction Coriolis Layer 2 dragged forward by layer 1 behind by layer 3 Etc Ekman Spirals Ekman found an exact solution to the structure of an Ekman Spiral Holds for a frictionally controlled upper layer called the Ekman layer The details of the spiral do not turn out to be important Ekman Layer Depth of frictional influence defines the Ekman layer Typically 20 to 80 m thick depends on Az latitude w Boundary layer process Typical 1 of ocean depth a 50 m Ekman layer over a 5000 m ocean Ekman Transport Balance between wind stress Coriolis force for an Ekman layer Coriolis force per unit mass f u u velocity f Coriolis parameter 2 sin 7 29x10 5 s 1 latitude Coriolis force acts to right of motion Ekman Transport Coriolis wind stress f ue w D Ekman velocity ue ue w f D Ekman transport Qe Qe w f m2 s m3 s 1 m 1 Volume transport per length of fetch Ekman Transport Ekman transport describes the direct wind

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