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Alexandra Simpson
,
Merrick Haller
,
David Walker
,
Patrick Lynett
, and
David Honegger

Abstract

This work describes a phase-resolving wave-forecasting algorithm that is based on the assimilation of marine radar image time series. The algorithm is tested against synthetic data and field observations. The algorithm couples X-band marine radar observations with a phase-resolving wave model that uses the linear mild slope equations for reconstruction of water surface elevations over a large domain of O(km) and a prescribed time window of O(min). The reconstruction also enables wave-by-wave forecasting through forward propagation in space and time. Marine radar image time series provide the input wave observations through a previously given relationship between backscatter intensity and the radial component of the sea surface slope. The algorithm assimilates the wave slope information into the model via a best-fit wave source function at the boundary that minimizes the slope reconstruction error over an annular region at the outer ranges of the radar images. The wave model is then able to propagate the waves across a polar domain to a location of interest at nearer ranges. The constraints on the method for achieving real-time forecasting are identified, and the algorithm is verified against synthetic data and tested using field observations.

Free access
Candice Hall
,
Robert E. Jensen
, and
David W. Wang

Abstract

The importance of quantifying the accuracy in wave measurements is critical to not only understand the complexities of wind-generated waves, but imperative for the interpretation of implied accuracy of the prediction systems that use these data for verification and validation. As wave measurement systems have unique collection and processing attributes that result in large accuracy ranges, this work quantifies bias that may be introduced into wave models from the newly operational NOAA National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) 2.1-m hull. Data quality consistency between the legacy NDBC 3-m aluminum hulls and the new 2.1-m hull is compared to a relative reference, and provides a standardized methodology and graphical representation template for future intrameasurement evaluations. Statistical analyses and wave spectral comparisons confirm that the wave measurements reported from the NDBC 2.1-m hulls show an increased accuracy from previously collected NDBC 3-m hull wave data for significant wave height and average wave period, while retaining consistent accuracy for directional results, purporting that hull size does not impact NDBC directional data estimates. Spectrally, the NDBC 2.1-m hulls show an improved signal-to-noise ratio, allowing for increase in energy retention in the lower-frequency spectral range, with an improved high-frequency spectral accuracy above 0.25 Hz within the short seas and wind chop wave component regions. These improvements in both NDBC bulk and spectral data accuracy provide confidence for the wave community’s use of NDBC wave data to drive wave model technologies, improvements, and validations.

Open access
Guillermo M. Díaz Méndez
,
Merrick C. Haller
,
Britt Raubenheimer
,
Steve Elgar
, and
David A. Honegger

Abstract

The time and space variability of wave transformation through a tidal inlet is investigated with radar remote sensing. The frequency of wave breaking and the net wave breaking dissipation at high spatial resolution is estimated using image sequences acquired with a land-based X-band marine radar. Using the radar intensity data, transformed to normalized radar cross section σ 0, the temporal and spatial distributions of wave breaking are identified using a threshold developed via the data probability density function. In addition, the inlet bathymetry is determined via depth inversion of the radar-derived frequencies and wavenumbers of the surface waves using a preexisting algorithm (cBathy). Wave height transformation is calculated through the 1D cross-shore energy flux equation incorporating the radar-estimated breaking distribution and bathymetry. The accuracy of the methodology is tested by comparison with in situ wave height observations over a 9-day period, obtaining correlation values R = 0.68 to 0.96, and root-mean-square errors from 0.05 to 0.19 m. Predicted wave forcing, computed as the along-inlet gradient of the cross-shore radiation stress was onshore during high-wave conditions, in good agreement (R = 0.95) with observations.

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