HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Ph.D. Oceanography/Marine Biology


Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

William S. Richardson

Second Advisor

Russell L. Snyder

Third Advisor

Russell L. Snyder

Fourth Advisor

Dennis W. Moore


This is a report of an experiment designed to study the bottom boundary layer of the Florida Current at a representative site in the Straits of Florida. The objectives of the experiment were (1) to determine the bottom frictional stress τ0 and (2) to determine whether the bottom boundary layer is a turbulent Ekman layer. A typical mean value of the bottom stress τ0 was found to be ~ 0.2 dynes/cm2. A mean veering of ~10° in the correct sense was observed in the logarithmic layer. No mean veering was observed above the logarithmic layer; this is believed to be a consequence of the strong modulation of the bottom current by the diurnal tide. The implication of τ0 ~ 0.2 dynes/cm2 is considered in a simplified model of the Gulf Stream current system; this analysis suggests that, dynamically, the role of bottom friction is rather small.

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