The structure of the steady boundary layer in the airflow over young wind waves is studied in detail using extensive data accumulated in our laboratory as well as in additional laboratory facilities and in field measurements. Following the approach adopted in studies of turbulent flow over solid rough surfaces, the coupling between the spatial evolution of wind waves and wind velocity profiles over the water is analysed. The roughness of the moving water surface under wind is not constant; wind waves that constitute the roughness elements are unsteady, random and three-dimensional. The effective water surface roughness increases with airflow velocity as well as with downstream distance. Nevertheless, the existence of wall similarity as observed in a flow over solid surfaces is demonstrated; a fully rough boundary layer is obtained for young wind waves at diverse operational conditions. This approach enables quantitative study of the coupling between the airflow and local wind wave characteristics.
- turbulent boundary layers
- wind-wave interactions