The WAM Model—A Third Generation Ocean Wave Prediction Model

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Abstract

A third generation wave model is presented that integrates the basic transport equation describing the evolution of a two-dimensional ocean wave spectrum without additional ad hoe assumptions regarding the spectral shape. The three source functions describing the wind input, nonlinear transfer, and white-capping dissipation are prescribed explicitly. An additional bottom dissipation source function and refraction terms are included in the finite-depth version of the model. The model was calibrated against fetch-limited wave growth data. Only two tuning parameters am introduced in the white-capping dissipation source function. The model runs on a spherical latitude-longitude grid for an arbitrary region of the ocean. Hindcast results am shown for six North Atlantic-North Sea storms, three Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, and a global run for the SEASAT period. The agreement with measurements is encouraging.

Abstract

A third generation wave model is presented that integrates the basic transport equation describing the evolution of a two-dimensional ocean wave spectrum without additional ad hoe assumptions regarding the spectral shape. The three source functions describing the wind input, nonlinear transfer, and white-capping dissipation are prescribed explicitly. An additional bottom dissipation source function and refraction terms are included in the finite-depth version of the model. The model was calibrated against fetch-limited wave growth data. Only two tuning parameters am introduced in the white-capping dissipation source function. The model runs on a spherical latitude-longitude grid for an arbitrary region of the ocean. Hindcast results am shown for six North Atlantic-North Sea storms, three Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, and a global run for the SEASAT period. The agreement with measurements is encouraging.

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