Masters Theses


"An experiment was conducted to study the coupled parallel and unidirectional effect of wind and waves on surface drift velocity of oil lenses and flexible plastic floats. The experiment was also conducted to study the effect of float width, wave length and air turbulence on the drift velocity of the surface floats. Experiments were also conducted to determine the air flow characteristics of the wind tunnel test section.

Experimental results are presented for a free stream wind velocity from zero to 700 cm/sec; the wave steepness ranged from zero to 0. 069, which is near the maximum steepness for stable gravity waves. This represents the entire range of possible wave steepness, and probably the range of possible wind speeds which can practically be studied. The results show that the wind drift and wave drift mechanisms are not simply additive over all regimes of wind speed. At low wind speeds the wave drift is shown to provide an augmentation to the wind drift. However, at higher wind speeds, the waves cause a net decrease in the coupled drift velocity. In fact, this wave induced diminishment increases as the wind speed increases.

It was found that drift characteristics of an oil lens and a flexible plastic float were the same. The drift velocity of a flexible plastic float was found to be independent of the width of the float. The wave length was discovered to have a minimal effect on the air-water interface and only the wave steepness H/L was important. Air turbulence intensity had no effect on drift velocity with either smooth water or with wind and waves coupled together. Air velocity profiles at the center of the wind tunnel, for different mean wind velocities, were flat and uniform across a major portion wind tunnel. This effect was achieved by not having fully developed flow in the test section. This condition more closely simulates the conditions on the open ocean"--Abstract, page i.


Reisbig, R. L.

Committee Member(s)

Flanigan, V. J.
Cunningham, Floyd M.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


United States. Coast Guard


Financial support of the U. S. Coast Guard under contract DOT- CG-24603 -A


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date



v, 47 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (page 29).


© 1973 Rameshchandra C. Shah, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Drift waves -- Measurement
Water waves
Wind tunnels

Thesis Number

T 2847

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #