### Abstract

The spatial structure of surface currents collected using a Doppler Radar system off the Florida Keys has been investigated. Surface current vectors were acquired within a rectilinear grid containing 700 nodes, where each node was spaced 1 km apart. Principal component analyses indicate that at least 63% of the variance of the surface currents at the 700 nodal locations can be accounted for by only three principal components. The principal modes of circulation during two separate experiments were extracted and found to be basically the same, although the first two modes were reversed between the two experiments. Coherence spectra were determined for nodal spacings between 1.76 km and 10.48 km, and the results of these analyses indicate that over most of the experimental area, approximately 60% of the variance is coherent over separations of 10.48 km. Application of a synoptic time-series model [1] indicates that accurate prediction of the mean currents over each of the 65-h subrecord lengths was the dominant factor in controlling model performance, and that on the order of 10% error could be expected in using the time-series model to predict the low-frequence fluctuations. This indicates that time-series modeling of surface currents may be feasible and useful in estimating the long-term mixing characteristics of contaminants transported in the surface layer.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 156-167 |

Number of pages | 12 |

Journal | IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering |

Volume | 22 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jan 1 1997 |

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### Keywords

- Coherence
- Doppler radar
- Mixing
- Principal components
- Spectral analysis
- Surface currents
- Time-series models

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Oceanography
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Ocean Engineering

### Cite this

*IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering*,

*22*(1), 156-167. https://doi.org/10.1109/48.557550