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      The Influence of Wind Speed and Sea States on Whitecap Coverage

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          Callaghan and White (2009) put forward the automated whitecap extraction (AWE) technique to determine the whitecap coverage (W). An improved AWE was used to analyze images collected in the South China Sea during 2012 and 2013 and in western Pacific during 2015 to determine W. The influences of meteorological and oceanographic factors on whitecap coverage were investigated in this study. It is found that W increases with wind speed. Scale factor and exponent of parameterization for W( U 10) vary greatly in different models. Overall, there is a larger scatter of W at low wind speed than at high wind speed. W decreases with the increasing of wave age. Compared with wind speed, the scatter of W is smaller with wave age, which means the impact of wave age on the whitecap coverage is more robust under various environmental conditions. There is no significant dependence on SST and whitecap coverage seems to weakly decrease with SST. W decreases with the atmospheric stability. Relationship between W and wind speed change when swells are dominant. Swell can suppress wave breaking and decrease W. The effect is independent of the deflection angle between wind wave and swell.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ocean University of China
          Science Press and Springer (China )
          07 May 2019
          01 April 2019
          : 18
          : 2
          : 282-292
          1 College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
          2 Physical Oceanography Laboratory, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
          Author notes
          *Corresponding author: ZHAO Dongliang
          Copyright © Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2019.

          The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is hereby assigned for good and valuable consideration to the editorial office of Journal of Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

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