Environmental Modeling & Assessment

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 139–149 | Cite as

Effects of along-shore wind stress and surface cooling on the formation of shelf sea fronts in a simple air-sea interaction model

  • Lian Xie
  • Leonard J. Pietrafesa
  • Sethu Raman


This paper presents numerical simulation results from a set of control and sensitivity experiments on the effects of winter-time air-sea interaction on the variability of sea surface temperature (SST) on a two-dimensional continental shelf which is uniform in the along-shore direction and is bounded to the west by a straight coast and to the east by a prescribed Gulf Stream front. In the control experiment, the model ocean circulation is driven by a time-dependent wind forcing which is parameterically coupled to the cross-shelf SST gradient. In the sensitivity experiments, wind stress, diabatic cooling and air-sea coupling are turned on separately to estimate the individual contribution of each effect to the cross-shelf SST variation. Experiments have also been carried out for different coupling strengths and diabatic cooling rates to examine the model sensitivity to these paramenters. The model results indicate that air-sea interaction could induce a secondary SST front on the shelf. Comparisons of model results with observations obtained during the Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment conducted off the east coasts of the Carolinas during January and February 1986 qualitatively confirm our finding.


Wind Stress Continental Shelf Model Ocean Circulation Stream Front Diabatic Cool 
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

© Baltzer Science Publishers BV 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lian Xie
    • 1
  • Leonard J. Pietrafesa
    • 1
  • Sethu Raman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric SciencesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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