Some Evidence of Colinear Wind Stress and Wave Breaking Academic Article uri icon


  • Data collected during the Surface Waves and Processes Program are employed to investigate a possible interrelation between wind stress and surface wave breaking. From comparison of data from 15 half-hour long time segments, the directions of the wind stress and the whitecap motion are observed to be generally colinear, with both lying between the mean wind and the swell. As well, a nondimensionalized whitecap speed is found to correlate with the drag coefficient. These results suggest that the magnitude and direction of the wind stress might be estimated from wave breaking information.

publication date

  • November 1996