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Daytona Beach



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The Model Coupling Executable Library (MCEL), developed at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center of Higher Learning, has been successfully used to couple the Coupled Ocean/Atmospheric Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) and the ocean wave model WAVEWATCH. An example of its application is shown for Hurricane Gordon, showing that two-way coupling results affects boundary layer physics differently than one-way coupling --- in this case, resulting in larger o z and, consequently, larger surface fluxes and a more intense hurricane. However, since analyzing MCEL is difficult because the wave physics is inaccurate, improvements to the wave algorithms are also part of the deliverables. A new analytical expression for the wind/wave growth factor has been derived based on normal modes analysis and rapid distortion theory valid for all wave regimes except for tropical cyclone conditions. This new algorithm is validated against a numerical simulation of the Reynolds-stress transport equations and matches well. In contrast, other wave growth expression used in ocean models like the WAve Model (WAM) and WAVEWATCH do not produce the same results, with larger wave growth values peaking at smaller wave age values. These differences are attributed to the application of curve fitting by the other algorithms, while the new formulation is an analytical expression derived from first principles and includes factors missing in previous schemes such as turbulent interaction. If the Reynolds-stress transport equations solutions are reasonably accurate, it indicates that all the previous wave growth schemes, including WAVEWATCH, have serious deficiencies. Another unique result from this work includes a second analytical wave growth formulation valid for tropical cyclone conditions.

An unexpected problem occurred with WAVEWATCH when it was discovered the roughness values are often one to two orders of magnitude too large. To circumvent this problem, the algorithm of Nordeng has been coded to compute roughness length for WAVEWATCH. This algorithm is a complicated iterative procedure involving integral expressions where turbulent stress, wave-induced stress, roughness length, and wave growth must converge.


Stennis Space Center, MS

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Contract No. N62306-01-D-7110; Task Order No. 0005; Project ID: CWO 007

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Additional Information

Original document can be found on the Worldwinds, Inc website: