Figure 1

The above image is taken from "Atmosphere–Ocean Momentum Exchange in General Circulation Models", John A.T.Bye 1999. It represents the inertial coupling concept between the atmosphere and ocean.

It is a concept which helps to model momentum transfer between the atmosphere and ocean, taking into account gravity waves on the surface of the ocean. This diagram is used to help illustrate the formulation of shear stress vectors for both the atmosphere and ocean.

The only problem I have is I do not know what is meant by reference velocity? Supposedly this velocity is shared between both mediums, atmosphere and ocean.

What could this refer to?

Any help at all would be appreciated.


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ could be a climatological reference or mean value. It is totally arbitrary what is considered "reference". You could take a monthly mean or a climatological mean or simply divide the grid point by average of all the values for a particular level. $\endgroup$
    – gansub
    Mar 30 '18 at 2:27
  • $\begingroup$ I certainly have done much at all with ocean-atmosphere coupling... but I would've thought maybe it would be the surface current in said body of water?? $\endgroup$ Mar 30 '18 at 13:46

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