Wind stress

  • Wind Stress
  • The drag or tangential foce per unit area exerted upon the earth's surface by moving air in the surface boundary layer. 
Abstract from DBPedia
    In physical oceanography and fluid dynamics, the wind stress is the shear stress exerted by the wind on the surface of large bodies of water – such as oceans, seas, estuaries and lakes. Stress is the quantity that describes the magnitude of a force that is causing a deformation of an object. Therefore, stress is defined as the force per unit area and its SI unit is the Pascal. When the deforming force acts parallel to the object's surface, this force is called a shear force and the stress it causes is called a shear stress. When wind is blowing over a water surface, the wind applies a wind force on the water surface. The wind stress is the component of this wind force that is parallel to the surface per unit area. Also, the wind stress can be described as the flux of horizontal momentum applied by the wind on the water surface. The wind stress causes a deformation of the water body whereby wind waves are generated. Also, the wind stress drives ocean currents and is therefore an important driver of the large-scale ocean circulation. The wind stress is affected by the wind speed, the shape of the wind waves and the atmospheric stratification. It is one of the components of the air–sea interaction, with others being the atmospheric pressure on the water surface, as well as the exchange of energy and mass between the water and the atmosphere.


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