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Waves and Swells in High Wind and Extreme Fetches, Measurements in the Southern Ocean

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Journal Article - Open Access

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Naval Research Laboratory Washington United States

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The generation and evolution of ocean waves by wind is one of the most complexphenomena in geophysics, and is of great practical significance. Predictive capabilitiesof respective wave models, however, are impaired by lack of field in situ observations,particularly in extreme Metocean conditions. The paper outlines and highlights importantgaps in understanding the Metocean processes and suggests a major observationalprogram in the Southern Ocean. This large, but poorly investigated part of the WorldOcean is home to extreme weather around the year. The observational network wouldinclude distributed system of buoys drifting and stationary and autonomous surfacevehicles ASV, intended for measurements of waves and air-sea fluxes in the SouthernOcean. It would help to resolve the issues of limiting fetches, extreme Extra-Tropicalcyclones, swell propagation and attenuation, wave-current interactions, and addressthe topics of wave-induced dispersal of floating objects, wave-ice interactions in theMarginal Ice Zone, Metocean climatology and its connection with the global climate.

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