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Erik J. Bock and Tetsu Hara

Abstract

A description of a new scanning laser slope gauge (SLSG) is given and the results obtained from both laboratory wind-wave tank and field measurements are presented. The device relies on the measurements of two components of surface slope to compute spatial and temporal lags that are used to estimate the full three-dimensional slope spectrum. The device is capable of resolving frequencies up to 34.7 Hz and wavelengths in the range between 7.9 × 10−3 and 3.08 × 10−1 m. The technique makes use of a two-dimensional laser scanner that samples the perimeter of a circle of 0.154-m diameter (an unfilled aperture). Both laboratory and field results indicate the device is well suited to measure the full three-dimensional spectra of capillary-gravity waves and is capable of providing ground-truthing measurements for the verification of remotely sensed ocean surface features.

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Kurt A. Hanson, Tetsu Hara, Erik J. Bock, and Andrey B. Karachintsev

Abstract

During the High-Resolution Remote Sensing Main Experiment (1993), wave height was estimated from a moving catamaran using pitch-rate and roll-rate sensors, a three-axis accelerometer, and a capacitive wave wire. The wave spectrum in the frequency band ranging roughly from 0.08 to 0.3 Hz was verified by independent buoy measurements. To estimate the directional frequency spectrum from a wave-wire array, the Data-Adaptive Spectral Estimator is extended to include the Doppler shifting effects of a moving platform. The method is applied to data obtained from a fixed platform during the Risø Air–Sea Experiment (1994) and to data obtained from a moving platform during the Coastal Ocean Processes Experiment (1995). Both results show that the propagation direction of the peak wind waves compares well with the measured wind direction. When swells and local wind waves are not aligned, the method can resolve the difference of propagation directions. Using the fixed platform data a numerical test is conducted that shows that the method is able to distinguish two wave systems propagating at the same frequency but in two different directions.

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Tetsu Hara, Erik J. Bock, James B. Edson, and Wade R. McGillis

Abstract

Observations of wind-generated gravity–capillary waves have been made during two recent field programs in coastal environments. The results of wave slope spectra on clean water show a well-defined correlation with the wind friction velocity. However, spectral values at higher wavenumbers (above 200 rad m−1) are significantly higher than previous laboratory results. In the presence of surface films wave spectra may decrease by more than one order of magnitude at lower wind stresses. The dispersion characteristics of short waves vary markedly depending on the wavenumber, the wind stress, and the surface chemical condition. Some results in the presence of surface films at intermediate winds show much higher apparent phase speeds than the theoretical dispersion relation. This may be because of an enhanced near-surface current or because of the relative increase of wave energy that is phase-locked to longer steep gravity waves.

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