Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 1-20

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Effect of Ocean Spray on Vertical Momentum Transport Under High-Wind Conditions

  • Yevgenii RastigejevAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, North Carolina A&T State UniversityDepartment of Energy and Environmental Systems, North Carolina A&T State University Email author 
  • , Sergey A. SuslovAffiliated withMathematics H38, FEIS, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , Yuh-Lang LinAffiliated withDepartment of Energy and Environmental Systems, North Carolina A&T State UniversityDepartment of Physics, North Carolina A&T State University


Two mathematical models are proposed detailing the influence of ocean spray on vertical momentum transport under high-wind conditions associated with a hurricane or severe storm. The first model is based on a turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) equation and accounts for the so-called lubrication effect due to the reduction of turbulence intensity. The second model is based on Monin–Obukhov similarity (MOS) and uses available experimental data. It is demonstrated that the flow acceleration is negligible for wind speeds below a certain critical value due to the fact that the spray volume concentration is low for such speeds. For wind speeds higher than the critical value, the spray concentration rapidly increases, which results in significant flow acceleration. Both models produce qualitatively similar results for all turbulent flow parameters considered. It was found that the MOS-based model tends to predict a noticeably stronger lubrication effect than the TKE-based model, especially for lower wind speeds. The results of model calculations are in very good agreement with available experimental data for the spray production values near the upper bound. It is also shown that neither the value of the turbulent Schmidt number in the TKE-based model nor the choice of a stability profile function affects the spray-laden flow dynamics significantly.


Air–ocean drag Hurricanes Ocean spray Stratified turbulent flows