Hybrid computer simulation of wind-driven ocean currents Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7w62fc569

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  • A simulation method using a hybrid computer is developed in this dissertation to enhance the study of wind-driven ocean circulation. The simulation is based on the mathematical model developed by Ekman. Pure digital simulation is not economical due to excessive computer time required for the solution of the partial differential equations in the model. The ability of the analog section in the hybrid computer to solve differential equations rapidly and the data handling capability and programming simplicity of the digital section are utilized in the hybrid simulation. The results of the computer simulation for the simplified case of a step-function change in wind show good agreement with the results obtained by other investigators. Time-series wind data measured from a fixed buoy were used to calculate the wind stress, which formed the input to the computer model. Ocean current data taken concurrently with the wind data were used for comparison with the simulation results. Spectral analysis of the current meter record revealed the presence of diurnal and semidiurnal tidal components along with the wind driven currents. For comparison purposes, the major tidal influence from one of the current data series was filtered out by digital methods. Using only an average value for the eddy viscosity coefficient, it was found possible to reproduce some of the features of the measured currents in the computer model. For example, both the measured and simulated currents showed inertial oscillations. A simple parameter optimization scheme to determine the value of eddy viscosity coefficient was performed to demonstrate the power of the hybrid simulation in the estimation of unknown parameters in the mathematical model for the wind-driven currents.
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