Moored acoustic Doppler current profiler velocity estimates and buoy w
ind observations made during a period of moderate southward winds were
used to test the Ekman balance at a Site in the California Current. A
s in prior studies, the wind driven flow was separated from the total
flow by subtraction of a deep reference current. The wind-driven flow
was shown to be in an Ekman balance on daily timescales over a period
of several months. The mean observed transport was to the right of the
wind and agreed to within 3% in magnitude and 4 degrees in phase with
the predicted Ekman transport, although the error bar was about 20%.
The mean velocity profile was a smooth spiral, qualitatively similar (
although flatter) than the theoretical Ekman spiral. From the observed
mean momentum balance, profiles of the turbulent stress and eddy visc
osity were inferred. Eddy viscosity estimates within the wind mixed la
yer were O(100 cm(2) s(-1)).