Gas transfer velocity in the presence of wave breaking
Title: Gas transfer velocity in the presence of wave breaking
Journal: Tellus B, 68: 27034
Authors: LI S., and D. -L. Zhao*
Abstract:Wave breaking is known to cause air entrainment and enhancement of the near-surface turbulence. Thus, it intensifies the gas exchange across the air–sea interface. Based on the combination of the vertical distribution of the turbulence in the wave-affected layer and the breaking wave-energy dissipation rate in the wave-breaking layer, we proposed a composite model for the gas transfer velocity in the presence of wave breaking. The gas transfer velocity was calculated as a function of the air frictional velocity, wave age, and whitecap coverage. The model was validated by the dependences on winds and wave ages by field and laboratory measurements. The results supported the hypothesis that the large uncertainties in the traditional gas transfer velocities based on wind speed alone at moderate-to-high wind speeds can be ascribed to the neglect of the wind–wave effect, which is mainly attributed to the whitecap coverage as a function of the wind–sea Reynolds number.