Wind-driven wave heights in the German Bight
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Wind speed, friction velocity and significant wave height data from the FINO1 platform in the southern German Bight 45 km off the coast for the years 2004 to 2006 have been evaluated and related to each other. The data show a clear dependence of the hourly mean wave height to the hourly mean friction velocity and wind speed. Wave heights increase with decreasing stratification and increasing fetch. Synoptic weather patterns for the highest wave heights in the southern German Bight are determined. The analysis is made separately for four wind direction sectors. The two strongest storms in the evaluated period, “Britta” and “Erwin”, are analysed in more detail. Finally, the 50-year extreme significant wave height has been estimated to be about 11 m most probably coming from northerly directions.
KeywordsSignificant wave height FINO1 German Bight Violent storms 50-year return wave height
The data evaluation in this study is based on the work for the PhD thesis of the second author. This study would not have been possible without the funding from the German Ministry of the Environment under no. FKZ 0320061, which is thankfully acknowledged here. We like to thank also Thomas Neumann from the DEWI (Deutsches Windenergie-Institut, Wilhelmshaven, Germany) for help in the data transfer and the leadership in a group of scientific projects to which the present one belonged and Kai Herklotz from the BSH (German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, Hamburg, Germany) for supplying the wave height and period data. The various comments by the three anonymous reviewers were very helpful.
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