Surface Wave Statistics and Spectra During High Sea State Conditions in the North Atlantic.
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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Surface wave data collected using an airborne laser profilometer during high sea state conditions are analyzed to produce statistical cumulants up to the fifth order and power spectra. Theoretically, the third cumulant, skewness, is directly proportional to the wind-wave significant slope. This relationship is supported by wind-wave tank data, but little field data of this kind is available in the literature. Also, it has been suggested that if skewness can be derived from radar altimeter data, the significant slope would be computed and together with another altimeter product, the rms wave height, the wave spectra can be estimated using the Wallops Spectral Model WSM. The results of this study indicate that the skewness relationship is valid for wind-wave dominated seas but as the swell contribution to rms wave height increases, the combined wave field skewness monotonically decreases below the predicted value. The WSM yields excellent reproductions of the wind-wave spectra even in multiple-peaked seas providing that the model inputs are properly determined for the wind-wave subfield. Finally the altimeter-WSM scheme should work reasonably well when the seas are wind-wave dominated provided that the altimeter can accurately measure skewness. More research on intermediate and swell dominated conditions is recommended. Author
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Lasers and Masers
- Fluid Mechanics