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Assessing the Performance of the Dissipation parameterizations in WAVEWATCH III Using Collocated Altimetry Data

By Georgia D. Kalantzi, Christine Gommenginger and Meric Srokosz


Wave-breaking dissipation is one of the least understood processes implemented in contemporary wave models. Significant effort has been put in its parameterization, but it has not proven to be totally satisfactory, either theoretically or practically. In this work, theWAVEWATCH III (version 2.22; Tolman) wave model is used to evaluate the two wind input/dissipation source term packages that it includes: (i) Wave Model(WAM) cycle 3 (WAMDIG) and (ii) Tolman and Chalikov. Global model outputs were obtained under the same wind forcing for the two dissipation formulations and were collocated in space and time in the north Indian Ocean with Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX) altimeter data. The performance of the model was assessed by evaluating the statistical behavior of the collocated datasets. The parameters examined were significant wave height, wind speed, wind direction, wave direction, wave height for fully developed seas, and energy loss due to wave breaking. From the results, the behavior of the input/dissipation formulations in specific wind and wave conditions was identified; that is, the results give insight to the way the two source term packages ‘‘work’’ and how they respond to local wind sea or swell. Specifically, both of the packages were unable to perform adequately during a season when the area can be mostly affected by swell. However, the results confirmed that the examination of only integral spectral wave parameters does not give information on the inherent physical characteristics of the formulations. Further study, on the basis of point spectra, is necessary to examine the formulations’ performance across the wave spectrum

Topics: GC
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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