A curious relationship between the winds and currents at the western entrance of the Santa Barbara Channel

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Breaker, L. C., Gemmill, W. H., De Witt, P. W., & Crosby, D. S. (2003). A curious relationship between the winds and currents at the western entrance of the Santa Barbara Channel. Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans, 108(5), 1-21.
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TitleA curious relationship between the winds and currents at the western entrance of the Santa Barbara Channel
AuthorsC. Breaker, H. Gemmill, W. de Witt, S. Crosby
AbstractRelationships between the surface winds and Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) currents at 20 levels (25 to 329 m) at the western entrance of the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) at National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) buoy 46054 are evaluated for the 1 year period from 1 June 1996 through 31 May 1997 using a relatively new technique for correlating vectors. Gaps in the data were filled and the resulting time series examined to insure that the statistical properties of the edited data had not been significantly altered. Vertical current profiles, averaged over the year, indicate that the mean signal, although well-defined, is smaller than the variability about the mean. Vertical profiles of current speed and direction suggest the possibility of at least a twolayer system of circulation in the SBC with flow between 25 and 180 m being to the SSW and flow from 260 to 329 m being to the ENE, in agreement with previous results. Because of the existing dynamical balances, the currents are oriented approximately SW/NE, and the direction of the vertical current shear (i.e., the thermal wind) is essentially constant with depth. Thus warmer waters lie to the north and west, and colder waters, essentially south of the buoy, are consistent with observed cyclonic circulation at the western entrance of the channel. Vector correlations over the entire year indicate that the winds and currents are poorly correlated,
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans
Date2003
Volume108
Issue5
Start page1
End page21

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