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Large Sea Spray Droplets and Their Influence on the Air-Sea Fluxes in High Winds

Speaker: Fabrice Veron, Physical Ocean Science and Engineering Institution, University of Delaware
Series: CEE Departmental Seminars
Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium
Date/Time: Monday, March 31, 2014, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Ocean spray consists of small water droplets ejected from the ocean surface following surface breaking wave events. These drops get transported in the marine atmospheric boundary layer where they exchange momentum and heat with the atmosphere. The smallest of the spray droplets are transported over large distance and can remain in the atmosphere for several days where they will scatter radiation, evaporate entirely leaving behind sea salt, participate in the aerosol chemical cycle, and act as cloud condensation nuclei. The large droplets remain close to the ocean surface and affect the air-sea fluxes of momentum and enthalpy thereby enhancing the intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes. We present experimental and theoretical results on the large spray droplets and their influence on the air-sea heat fluxes.