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Zezong Chen, Longgang Zhang, Chen Zhao, Xi Chen, and Jianbo Zhong


Wind sea and swell representing different weather conditions generally coexist in both open waters and coastal areas, which results in bimodal or multipeaked features in directional wave spectrum. Because they make wave parameters such as significant wave height and mean wave period of the mixed sea state less meaningful, the processes of separation and identification of wind sea and swell are crucial. Consistent wind sea and swell results can be obtained by a commonly used method based on wave age (WA) with the directional wave spectrum and wind velocity. However, the subjective dependence of wave age threshold selection and the required wind information restrict the application of this method. In this study, a practical method based on the overshoot phenomenon (OP) in wind-generated waves is proposed to extract wind sea and swell from the directional wave spectrum without any other meteorology information. Directional wave spectra derived from an S-band Doppler radar deployed on the coast of the South China Sea have been utilized as the datasets to investigate the performance of both methods. The proposed OP method is then validated by comparing it with the WA method and the verifying results are presented.

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