, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 1-20,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Jun 2011

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


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.