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Directional Wavelet Analysis of Inhomogeneity in the Surface Wave Field from Aerial Laser Scanning Data

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  • 1 National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Hamilton, New Zealand
  • | 2 National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Christchurch, New Zealand
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Abstract

Modern measurement techniques such as aerial laser scanning allow for rapid determination of the spatial variation of sea surface elevation. Wave fields obtained from such data show spatial inhomogeneity associated with the presence of wave groups. A method based on two-dimensional directional wavelet analysis is described by which such inhomogeneity can be characterized in the spatial and wavenumber domains. The directional wavelet method has been applied to aerial laser scanning measurements of nearshore wave conditions off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. A high level of spatial variability was observed, with evidence of ensembles of wave-group envelopes of quasi-Gaussian form. These envelopes occur, with variations in spatial location, across a range of wavelet scales and directions.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Richard Gorman, NIWA, P.O. Box 11115, Hamilton, New Zealand. Email: r.gorman@niwa.co.nz

Abstract

Modern measurement techniques such as aerial laser scanning allow for rapid determination of the spatial variation of sea surface elevation. Wave fields obtained from such data show spatial inhomogeneity associated with the presence of wave groups. A method based on two-dimensional directional wavelet analysis is described by which such inhomogeneity can be characterized in the spatial and wavenumber domains. The directional wavelet method has been applied to aerial laser scanning measurements of nearshore wave conditions off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. A high level of spatial variability was observed, with evidence of ensembles of wave-group envelopes of quasi-Gaussian form. These envelopes occur, with variations in spatial location, across a range of wavelet scales and directions.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Richard Gorman, NIWA, P.O. Box 11115, Hamilton, New Zealand. Email: r.gorman@niwa.co.nz

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