Inversion and assessment of swell waveheights from HF radar spectra in the Iroise Sea
As an extension of previous work in Wang et al. (Ocean Dyn 64:1447–1456, 2014), this article presents significant waveheights of swell inverted from a 13 month dataset of two high-frequency (HF) phased array radars. As an important intermediate variable in the calculation of significant waveheights, relative swell directions obtained by two different methods from a single radar station are also presented. The impact of the inaccuracy of relative swell direction on the calculation of waveheight is investigated and an alternative way of using constant swell direction is proposed. Radar-inverted swell significant waveheights using different ranges of relative swell directions are investigated. Results are assessed by WAVEWATCH III model hind casts. Analysis of the complete database shows that radar-inverted swell significant waveheights agree reasonably well with model estimates with large scatter. Standard deviation of the difference between the two estimations increases with waveheight, whereas the relative standard deviation, normalized by waveheight, keeps nearly constant. The constant direction scheme of waveheight inversion gives good estimations except for energetic swell exceeding the small perturbation assumption. Statistical analysis suggests that radar measurement uncertainty explains a considerable part of the difference between radar and model estimates. Swell estimates from both radar stations are consistent. This enables combined use of both radar spectra at common radar cells. Use of double spectra solves the ambiguity of relative swell direction, i.e., absolute swell direction is obtained, and effectively improves the accuracy of swell direction by the least-squares method.
KeywordsSwell Significant waveheight HF radar WAVEWATCH III wave model Iroise Sea
Radar data were kindly provided by SHOM (Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine) thanks to the projects Previmer and EPIGRAM (funded under contract ANR-08-BLAN-0330). WAVEWATCH III wave model data was provided by the IOWAGA project funded by the ERC under grant number 240009. This study is supported by Minisitry of Science and Technology of China (No.2011BAC03B01), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.41376010).
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