Wind Speed Dependence of Single-Site Wave-Height Retrievals from High-Frequency Radars

Brian K. Haus Division of Applied Marine Physics, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

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Lynn K. Shay Division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

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Paul A. Work School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Savannah, Georgia

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George Voulgaris Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Marine Science Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

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Rafael J. Ramos Division of Applied Marine Physics, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

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Jorge Martinez-Pedraja Division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

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Abstract

Wave-height observations derived from single-site high-frequency (HF) radar backscattered Doppler spectra are generally recognized to be less accurate than overlapping radar techniques but can provide significantly larger sampling regions. The larger available wave-sampling region may have important implications for observing system design. Comparison of HF radar–derived wave heights with acoustic Doppler profiler and buoy data revealed that the scale separation between the Bragg scattering waves and the peak energy-containing waves may contribute to errors in the single-site estimates in light-to-moderate winds. A wave-height correction factor was developed that explicitly considers this scale separation and eliminates the trend of increasing errors with increasing wind speed.

Corresponding author address: Brian K. Haus, RSMAS/AMP, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149. Email: bhaus@rsmas.miami.edu

Abstract

Wave-height observations derived from single-site high-frequency (HF) radar backscattered Doppler spectra are generally recognized to be less accurate than overlapping radar techniques but can provide significantly larger sampling regions. The larger available wave-sampling region may have important implications for observing system design. Comparison of HF radar–derived wave heights with acoustic Doppler profiler and buoy data revealed that the scale separation between the Bragg scattering waves and the peak energy-containing waves may contribute to errors in the single-site estimates in light-to-moderate winds. A wave-height correction factor was developed that explicitly considers this scale separation and eliminates the trend of increasing errors with increasing wind speed.

Corresponding author address: Brian K. Haus, RSMAS/AMP, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149. Email: bhaus@rsmas.miami.edu

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