Enthalpy transfer across the air-water interface in high winds including spray

Dahai Jeong, Brian K. Haus, Mark A. Donelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Controlled experiments were conducted in the Air-Sea Interaction Saltwater Tank (ASIST) at the University of Miami to investigate air-sea moist enthalpy transfer rates under various wind speeds (range of 0.6-39 m s -1 scaled to equivalent 10-m neutral winds) and water-air temperature differences (range of 1.3°-9.2°C). An indirect calorimetric (heat content budget) measurement technique yielded accurate determinations of moist enthalpy flux over the full range of wind speeds. These winds included conditions with significant spray generation, the concentrations of which were of the same order as field observations. The moist enthalpy exchange coefficient so measured included a contribution from cooled reentrant spray and therefore serves as an upper limit for the interfacial transfer of enthalpy. An unknown quantity of spray was also observed to exit the tank without evaporating. By invoking an air volume enthalpy budget it was determined that the potential contribution of this exiting spray over an unbounded water volume was up to 28%. These two limits bound the total enthalpy transfer coefficient including spray-mediated transfers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2733-2748
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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