Graduate students Alex and Spencer have been capturing drone footage of rip currents along the beach by our radar site and comparing optical versus radar observations. Above left is a snapshot of one. Rip neck and rip head are evident by their entrained sediment. Rip head is particularly interesting with its intermediate scale wave breaking and smaller scale instabilities along the outer edge. Sped up version of the movie (8x) can be viewed here. Above right, the GEarth radar overlay on the right pins the drone location just off the beach from our radar site. The green dots note the southeastern corner of the OSU Oceano array. The scale of these rips may seem a bit small (200-300 m cross-shore) compared to the cross-shelf distances you all have been covering with your ship ops, but don’t count them out yet!
You can check out a radar movie of the rip here, or on YouTube here. In the movie you can see at least a half dozen rip currents, even cooler, at 1541PDT on Sept. 11 you can clearly see a set of solitons crashing into the surf zone and into the rip currents. Afterwords there are interesting cross-shore dark features that we suspect are slicks of some sort.
Fighter pilots at the beach.