Coastal radar observations reveal complex surface circulations



The behavior of nearshore ocean surface currents has important effects on the coastal ecosystem, with the alongshore propagating waves helping transport marine organisms and affecting how nutrients, salt, and heat are distributed. Using a network of 61 high-frequency radar stations off the U.S. West Coast, Kim et al. got a detailed look at the motion of the coastal ocean. They found that there are essentially two distinct sets of poleward propagating waves driving the nearshore flow.