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Future exploitation of in-situ wave measurements at Station Mike

By M. J. Yelland, K. Bjorheim, C. Gommenginger and B.I. Moat


As part of a UK-SOLAS (Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study) project the National Oceanography Centre (NOCS) has instrumented the Norwegian weather ship Polarfront with the directional wave radar “WAVEX”. This system complements the Polarfront’s existing ship borne wave recorder which was installed by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in 1978. The Polarfront and its predecessors have occupied Station Mike (66°N, 2°E) all year round for nearly 60 years. NOCS also equipped the ship with digital cameras and the autonomous air-sea flux system “AutoFlux”. The NOCS systems were installed in September 2006 and will operate continuously for at least 3 years. Project information and real-time data from the ship can be found via . The sea-state dataset being obtained on the Polarfront is unparalleled in that the SBWR provides reliable wave height data but no directional information, whereas the wave radar provides excellent directional wave spectra but infers wave heights indirectly. It is believed that, until now, the two systems have never been deployed together for more than brief periods. On Polarfront the two systems provide very comprehensive information on sea state, in a region of the world’s oceans which experience a wide range of conditions (e.g. 3-hourly significant wave height of 15.5 m in November 2001). The main research aim of the project is the parameterisation of the air-sea fluxes, including wind stress, in terms of wind speed, sea state etc. However, the wave data set being collected has potential uses which fall outside the project aims and we would welcome proposals for collaboration from members of the remote sensing and modelling communities. Here we describe initial results which show that the two wave systems agree reasonably well for wave period, but that significant wave heights from the WAVEX are overestimated in the presence of swell

Topics: GC
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Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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