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Evaluation and Validation of HF Radar Swell and Wind-Wave Inversion Method

Zaid R. Al-AttabiaSchool of the Earth, Ocean and Environment, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
bMarine Science Center, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq
cDepartment of Coastal Studies, East Carolina University, Wanchese, North Carolina

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George VoulgarisaSchool of the Earth, Ocean and Environment, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

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Daniel C. ConleydSchool of Biological and Marine Sciences, Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom

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Abstract

An examination of the applicability and accuracy of the empirical wave inversion method in the presence of swell waves is presented. The ability of the method to invert Doppler spectra to wave directional spectra and bulk wave parameters is investigated using 1-month data from a 12-MHz Wellen Radar (WERA) high-frequency (HF) radar system and in situ data from a wave buoy. Three different swell inversion models are evaluated from Lipa et al. (LPM), from Wang et al. (WFG), and empirical (EMP), an empirical approach introduced in this study. The swell inversions were carried out using two different scenarios: 1) a single beam from a single radar site and two beams from a single radar site, and 2) two beams from two sites (a single beam per site) intersecting each other at the buoy location. The LPM method utilizing two beams from two different sites was found to provide the best estimations of swell parameters (swell height RMS error: 0.24 m) and showed a good correlation with the partitioned swell in situ values. For the wind-wave inversion, the empirical method presented here is used with an empirical coefficient of 0.3, which seems to be suitable for universal application for all radar operating frequencies. The inverted swell parameters are used to create a swell spectrum that is combined with the inverted wind-wave spectrum to create a full directional wave spectrum. The wave inversion method presented in this study although empirical does not require calibration with in situ data and can be applied to any beam-forming system and operating frequency.

Al-Attabi’s current affiliation: Department of Coastal Studies, East Carolina University, Wanchese, North Carolina.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Zaid R. Al-Attabi, zrahman@geol.sc.edu

Abstract

An examination of the applicability and accuracy of the empirical wave inversion method in the presence of swell waves is presented. The ability of the method to invert Doppler spectra to wave directional spectra and bulk wave parameters is investigated using 1-month data from a 12-MHz Wellen Radar (WERA) high-frequency (HF) radar system and in situ data from a wave buoy. Three different swell inversion models are evaluated from Lipa et al. (LPM), from Wang et al. (WFG), and empirical (EMP), an empirical approach introduced in this study. The swell inversions were carried out using two different scenarios: 1) a single beam from a single radar site and two beams from a single radar site, and 2) two beams from two sites (a single beam per site) intersecting each other at the buoy location. The LPM method utilizing two beams from two different sites was found to provide the best estimations of swell parameters (swell height RMS error: 0.24 m) and showed a good correlation with the partitioned swell in situ values. For the wind-wave inversion, the empirical method presented here is used with an empirical coefficient of 0.3, which seems to be suitable for universal application for all radar operating frequencies. The inverted swell parameters are used to create a swell spectrum that is combined with the inverted wind-wave spectrum to create a full directional wave spectrum. The wave inversion method presented in this study although empirical does not require calibration with in situ data and can be applied to any beam-forming system and operating frequency.

Al-Attabi’s current affiliation: Department of Coastal Studies, East Carolina University, Wanchese, North Carolina.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Zaid R. Al-Attabi, zrahman@geol.sc.edu
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