A study of the relationship between local winds and currents over the continental shelf off Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9880vt840

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  • This thesis demonstrates that at low frequencies (periods longer than 2.5 days) local currents off the coast of Oregon are closely related to the wind. Wind and current observations made during August and September 1969 are described and compared to demonstrate that a relationship exists; the physics of the interaction is not understood. The data are described as functions of both time and frequency. Spectral analysis shows that wind and current were related at frequencies less than 0.017 cycles per hour and at the diurnal frequency; at other frequencies they are apparently not related. The wind and current were then filtered to suppress frequencies higher than 0.017 cycles per hour; they are shown as functions of time. Comparison of the time series reveals certain features of the relationship between wind and current. The current can be considered to be the sum of two parts: a "response" current, which is related directly to the wind, and a "residual" current which is also variable. The amplitude of the response depends on the amplitude of the wind and on the density profile of the water. The time lag between the wind and the response current was variable; on a few occasions the current led the wind. Both the response and the residual current were generally parallel to the bottom contours. The residual current seems to change during periods when the response current is interrupted, so that short current records are not indicative of the mean flow.
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