The importance of whitecapping to air-sea interaction and Earth observation approaches to its retrieval

David Kevin Woolf, Lonneke Goddijn-Murphy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    A number of geochemical processes are dependent on bubbles primarily produced by “whitecapping” breaking waves, notably primary marine aerosol production, bubble-mediated gas exchange and the renewal of the organically rich surface marine microlayer. It is convenient to predict the magnitude of these processes through a “whitecap method” that then requires whitecap coverage to be measured or predicted. Whitecap coverage is difficult to define and harder to measure. There is adequate evidence that whitecap coverage (and thus by implication, the processes driven by it) do not simply depend on wind speed. Typically whitecap coverage may vary by a factor of two either side of a geometric mean for a given wind speed in response to changes in sea state. Both parametric and relatively direct methods of retrieving whitecap coverage require further development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEarth observation for ocean-atmosphere interactions science
    Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the ESA, SOLAS & EGU Joint Conference
    EditorsL Ouwehand
    Place of PublicationNoordwijk
    PublisherESA Communications
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Electronic)9789290922674
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

    Publication series

    NameESA SP
    PublisherEuropean Space Agency
    Volume703
    ISSN (Electronic)1609-042X

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  • Cite this

    Woolf, D. K., & Goddijn-Murphy, L. (2012). The importance of whitecapping to air-sea interaction and Earth observation approaches to its retrieval. In L. Ouwehand (Ed.), Earth observation for ocean-atmosphere interactions science: proceedings of the ESA, SOLAS & EGU Joint Conference (ESA SP; Vol. 703). ESA Communications.