recent areas of interest
Nutrient Input Mechanisms at the Shelf Margin Supporting Wintertime Phytoplankton Blooms
In collaboration with investigators at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, observations using a variety of instrumentation are being collected off Long Bay, SC to understand persistent wintertime blooms in the region just inshore of the Gulf Stream and the 'Charleston Bump'. More...
Feasibility of Offshore Wind Energy in North Carolina
In 2008 the NC State Legislature requested that UNC assess the feasibility of utility-scale generation of electricity using wind energy. The Seim lab led the wind resource assessment as part of the study. The full report was published in summer 2009 (see www.climate.unc.edu/coastal-wind) and has been presented at a number of venues. A detailed presentation of some of the results is available as well.
Follow-on studies are underway to refine the wind resource assessment, using a combination of new observations, further analysis of historical observations, and numerical modeling, funded by the NC Department of Commerce, Progress Energy and Duke Energy.
Observing system depiction of the coastal ocean climatology for the SE US
Observing system operators in the South Atlantic Bight are pooling their observational datasets to develop a depiction of the climatology of the circulation and mass field in the coastal ocean. The compilation permits a first-ever view of the shelf, its typical patterns of flow and temperature and salinity structure, and begins to enable the ability to discern anomalies as they occur. More....
Using HF radar to study shelf and Gulf Stream circulation off the Outer Banks
A long-range HF radar system from SeaSonde, installed on the Outer Banks in fall 2003, 'sees' about 175 km offshore. The system produces maps of current vectors every hour and presents an unique opportunity to study the circulation off NC. However, currents in the Gulf Stream are so strong that standard operation of the radar system does not properly capture the full field. Present efforts are focused on reviewing and revising the processing. More...
ROWG 2007 poster
SEACOOS HF radar manuscript
Diurnal variability in winds and currents in the Georgia Bight
An examination of the tidal currents measured at SABSOON led to a surprise - that there were often very strong diurnal (daily) period currents, but that they waxed and waned with time. Closer examination by Catherine Edwards revealed that the motions are likely near-inertial oscillations excited by the sea breeze/land breeze (SBLB) system along the Georgia coast. The SBLB system is particularly energetic off Georgia because of its latitude - 30 degrees north - where daily winds are also inertial oscillations. Catherine is documenting the structure of the wind field and of the ocean current response for her dissertation. More...
Edwards, C.R., and H.E. Seim, 2009. Coastal ocean response to near-resonant sea breeze/land breeze in the Georgia Bight: structure and variability, in prep for J. Physical Oceanogr.
Edwards, C.R., and H.E. Seim, 2009. Coastal ocean response to near-resonant sea breeze/land breeze in the Georgia Bight: stratification and shear, in prep for J. Physical Oceanogr.
Edwards, C.R., and H.E. Seim, 2008. Sea breeze/land breeze near the resonant critical latitude in the Georgia Bight, J. Geophys. Res., submitted.Edwards, C.R. and H.E. Seim, 2007. CEOF analysis as a method to separate barotropic and baroclinic velocity structure in shallow water, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 25, 808-821.
Processing tools for estimating directional wave spectra
A variety of new tools are available to estimate the directional wave spectrum but nearly all use proprietary vendor software to produce the spectra. Work by Greg Dusek has enabled re-processing of observational data using a open-source code, permitting users to explore a variety of processing techniques and to better understand the robustness of their sensing systems. More...
Estuarine Processes - the importance of laterally-separated circulation to the salt balance
In examining observations collected with Jack Blanton of Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in the Satilla River it became clear that there were persistent cross-channel gradients in salinity that correlate well with the inferred residual circulation. Seim and Blanton postulate that the laterally-separated circulation plays a critical role in maintaining the salt balance in shallow sinuous estuaries like the Satilla River and may explain the sluggish advance of salt intrusions during periods of drought. More...
Seim, H. E., J. O. Blanton and S. E. Elston, 2008. The affect of secondary circulation on the salt distribution in a sinuous coastal plain estuary: Satilla River, GA, USA. Continental Shelf Research, in press.