Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 47, Issue 1–4, pp 277–293 | Cite as

Water vapor flux at the sea surface

  • Stuart D. Smith
Review Paper


Methods and instrumentation for determining the rate of evaporation at the sea surface are reviewed. At experimental sites free of local influences, there is a consensus that the evaporation coefficient in neutral conditions CEN = 1.2 × 10−3 at low and moderate wind speeds. Combining this with Businger-Dyer flux-gradient formulas, a parameterization scheme is proposed. Evaporation of spray droplets from breaking waves is expected to cause CEN to increase at high wind speeds, but no direct observations of this are found. Recently it has become possible to estimate water vapor flux in tropical regions from satellite data, opening the possiblity of studying large-scale evaporative events as a function of both time and space.


Evaporation Wind Speed Water Vapor Direct Observation Satellite Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart D. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and OceansBedford Institute of OceanographyDartmouthCanada

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