Effect of wind stress forcing on ocean dynamics at air-sea interface

  • Hussein YahiaEmail author
  • Veronique Garçon
  • Joel Sudre
  • Christophe Maes


We evidence and study the differences in turbulence statistics in ocean dynamics carried by wind forcing at the air-sea interface. Surface currents at the air-sea interaction are of crucial importance because they transport heat from low to high latitudes. At first order, oceanic currents are generated by the balance of the Coriolis and pressure gradient forces (geostrophic current) and the balance of the Coriolis and the frictional forces dominated by wind stress (Ekman current) in the surface ocean layers. The study was conducted by computing statistical moments on the shapes of spectra computed within the framework of microcanonical multi-fractal formalism. Remotely sensed daily datasets derived from one year of altimetry and wind data were used in this study, allowing for the computation of two kinds of vector fields: geostrophy with and geostrophy without wind stress forcing. We explore the statistical properties of singularity spectra computed from velocity norms and vorticity data, notably in relation with kurtosis information to underline the differences in the turbulent regimes associated with both kinds of velocity fields.

Key words

Ocean dynamics Remote sensing Turbulence Signal processing Multi-fractal formalism 

CLC number



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Copyright information

© Zhejiang University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center INRIA Bordeaux - South WestTalenceFrance
  2. 2.CNRS, LEGOS LaboratoryToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Brest University, CNRS, IRD, IFREMER, LOPS, IUEMBrestFrance

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