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Qingxiang Liu
,
Alexander V. Babanin
,
Stefan Zieger
,
Ian R. Young
, and
Changlong Guan

Abstract

Twenty years (1996–2015) of satellite observations were used to study the climatology and trends of oceanic winds and waves in the Arctic Ocean in the summer season (August–September). The Atlantic-side seas, exposed to the open ocean, host more energetic waves than those on the Pacific side. Trend analysis shows a clear spatial (regional) and temporal (interannual) variability in wave height and wind speed. Waves in the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea (near the northern Alaska), and Laptev Sea have been increasing at a rate of 0.1–0.3 m decade−1, found to be statistically significant at the 90% level. The trend of waves in the Greenland and Barents Seas, on the contrary, is weak and not statistically significant. In the Barents and Kara Seas, winds and waves initially increased between 1996 and 2006 and later decreased. Large-scale atmospheric circulations such as the Arctic Oscillation and Arctic dipole anomaly have a clear impact on the variation of winds and waves in the Atlantic sector. Comparison between altimeter observations and ERA-Interim shows that the reanalysis winds are on average 1.6 m s−1 lower in the Arctic Ocean, which translates to a low bias of significant wave height (−0.27 m) in the reanalysis wave data.

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Qingxiang Liu
,
W. Erick Rogers
,
Alexander V. Babanin
,
Ian R. Young
,
Leonel Romero
,
Stefan Zieger
,
Fangli Qiao
, and
Changlong Guan

Abstract

The observation-based source terms available in the third-generation wave model WAVEWATCH III (i.e., the ST6 package for parameterizations of wind input, wave breaking, and swell dissipation terms) are recalibrated and verified against a series of academic and realistic simulations, including the fetch/duration-limited test, a Lake Michigan hindcast, and a 1-yr global hindcast. The updated ST6 not only performs well in predicting commonly used bulk wave parameters (e.g., significant wave height and wave period) but also yields a clearly improved estimation of high-frequency energy level (in terms of saturation spectrum and mean square slope). In the duration-limited test, we investigate the modeled wave spectrum in a detailed way by introducing spectral metrics for the tail and the peak of the omnidirectional wave spectrum and for the directionality of the two-dimensional frequency–direction spectrum. The omnidirectional frequency spectrum E(f) from the recalibrated ST6 shows a clear transition behavior from a power law of approximately f −4 to a power law of about f −5, comparable to previous field studies. Different solvers for nonlinear wave interactions are applied with ST6, including the Discrete Interaction Approximation (DIA), the more expensive Generalized Multiple DIA (GMD), and the very expensive exact solutions [using the Webb–Resio–Tracy method (WRT)]. The GMD-simulated E(f) is in excellent agreement with that from WRT. Nonetheless, we find the peak of E(f) modeled by the GMD and WRT appears too narrow. It is also shown that in the 1-yr global hindcast, the DIA-based model overestimates the low-frequency wave energy (wave period T > 16 s) by 90%. Such model errors are reduced significantly by the GMD to ~20%.

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Ian R. Young
,
Michael L. Banner
,
Mark A. Donelan
,
Cyril McCormick
,
Alexander V. Babanin
,
W. Kendall Melville
, and
Fabrice Veron

Abstract

A field experiment to study the spectral balance of the source terms for wind-generated waves in finite water depth was carried out in Lake George, Australia. The measurements were made from a shore-connected platform at varying water depths from 1.2 m down to 20 cm. Wind conditions and the geometry of the lake were such that fetch-limited conditions with fetches ranging from approximately 10 km down to 1 km prevailed. The resulting waves were intermediate-depth wind waves with inverse wave ages in the range 1 < U 10/Cp < 8. The atmospheric input, bottom friction, and whitecap dissipation were measured directly and synchronously by an integrated measurement system, described in the paper. In addition, simultaneous data defining the directional wave spectrum, atmospheric boundary layer profile, and atmospheric turbulence were available. The contribution to the spectral evolution due to nonlinear interactions of various orders is investigated by a combination of bispectral analysis of the data and numerical modeling. The relatively small scale of the lake enabled experimental conditions such as the wind field and bathymetry to be well defined. The observations were conducted over a 3-yr period, from September 1997 to August 2000, with a designated intensive measurement period [the Australian Shallow Water Experiment (AUSWEX)] carried out in August–September 1999. High data return was achieved.

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