We discuss the present situation of wave modeling and the possibilities of further improvements within the present spectral approach. It is suggested that, still considering the possible ameliorations in the physics and numerics of the models, there are intrinsic limitations when using a spectrum to describe the sea surface.

We discuss the future possibilities of a full deterministic description of the sea surface. This prepares the ground to analyze the intermediate solutions we envisage for the near future. These include the combined use of spectral and deterministic descriptions to analyze in detail the physics of the evolution of a wave field and to derive all its nonlinear properties.

We discuss the possibility of developing a wave model where, instead of the sinusoidal wave, the reference unit is the wave group.

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Institute of Marine Sciences, Venice, Italy