DRIFT CURRENTS OF CLEAN AND SLICK SEA SURFACES

Jin Wu

Abstract


Drift currents near sea surface govern movement and dispersion of man-made discharges near the sea surface, and influence design, deployment, and stability of offshore structures. The wind-induced drift currents and the wave-induced mass transports at the sea surface are separately estimated. The total surface drift current, the sum of wind- and wave-induced components, agree well with oceanic data (Hughes, 1956). The mass transport of waves over slick surface is greater than that over clean surface due to dynamic interactions between the surface film and waves. On the other hand, the wind-stress coefficient of slick surface is smaller than that of clean surface, resulting in a smaller wind-induced drift current over the slick surface. Available laboratory results (Alofs and Reisbig, 1972) on slick movements are reanalyzed to provide basis for estimating movements of slicks of various sizes over waves of different lengths under different wind velocities.

Keywords


drift current; current; slick sea surface

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