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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Thrust anemometer measurements of wind velocity fluctuations, spectra and stress over the sea Smith, Stuart Durnford


A thrust anemometer was designed to measure the three components of wind velocity fluctuations in the atmospheric boundary layer over the surface of the sea, and hence to evaluate directly the Reynolds stress of the wind on the sea. The anemometer was shown to be suitable for its intended purpose first by wind tunnel tests and then by comparisons with spectra from measurements in the field by cup and hot-wire anemometers. Spectra and cospectra of wind velocity fluctuations were calculated by analog analysis for thirty-two runs of 32 minutes' duration each at the Spanish Banks experimental site and for one run at another site. The spectra of downwind and of vertical velocity fluctuations were each found to be grouped closely when plotted in normalized form, and an empirical formula was given for the low-frequency end of the vertical velocity spectrum. The correlation of the downwind and vertical velocity fluctuations was found to be -0.5 at low frequencies and to approach zero at higher frequencies. The average value of the drag coefficient of the surface of the sea for the thirty-three runs was .0010 and no significant variation with wind speed was observed over the range 3 to 13 m/sec.

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