EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Sea Spray Generation Function in Major Tropical Cyclones

Alexander Soloviev1, Breanna Vanderplow1, Roger Lukas2, Brian Haus3, Muhammad Sumi4, and Isaac Ginis
Alexander Soloviev et al.
  • 1Nova Southeastern University, Halmos College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Dania Beach, FL 33004, USA (
  • 2University of Hawaii, Department of Oceanography, 1000 Pope Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
  • 3University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami, FL 33149, USA
  • 4Ansys, Inc., Houston, TX 77094, USA

Sea spray is a factor in thermodynamics, intensity, and intensification of tropical cyclones. However, the sea spray generation function under major tropical cyclone conditions is still virtually unknown and the scatter of data between different field experiments is significant. In this work we have conducted a computational fluid dynamics experiment using the approach that has been partially verified with data from the air-sea interaction facility SUSTAIN. In the computational model, the sea spray generation function has been studied using the Volume of Fluid (VOF) method. This method is enhanced with a Volume of Fluid to Discrete Phase transition model (VOF to DPM). Due to dynamic remeshing, VOF to DPM resolves spray particles ranging in size from tens of micrometers to a few millimeters (spume). The water particles that satisfy the condition of asphericity are converted into Lagrangian particles involved in a two-way interaction with the airflow. The size distribution of non-spherical spray particles is represented by the equivalent radii calculated from the particle mass. The sea spray generation function has been calculated for category 1, 3, and 5 tropical cyclones. A comparison with the data available from literature for a category 1 tropical cyclone shows that our sea spray generation function is close to those found by Zhao et al. (2006) and Troitskaya et al. (2018) for the radius range of spume. Our sea spray generation function results in the spray-induced stress exceeding the interfacial wind stress at approximately 60 m/s wind speed. Connection of spray-induced enthalpy flux to the sea spray generation function is more complicated due to the suspension and evaporation of small-size particles in the turbulent boundary layer (Richter’s and Peng 2019 effect of negative feedback).


How to cite: Soloviev, A., Vanderplow, B., Lukas, R., Haus, B., Sumi, M., and Ginis, I.: Sea Spray Generation Function in Major Tropical Cyclones, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6778,, 2022.