Long-Term Characterization of Sea Conditions in the East China Sea Using Significant Wave Height and Wind Speed
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In this study, the statistical characterization of sea conditions in the East China Sea (ECS) is investigated by analyzing a significant wave height and wind speed data at a 6-hour interval for 30 years (1980–2009), which was simulated and computed using the WAVEWATCH III (WW3) model. The monthly variations of these parameters showed that the significant wave height and wind speed have minimum values of 0.73 m and 5.15 m s−1 and 1.73 m and 8.24 m s−1 in the month of May and December, respectively. The annual, seasonal, and monthly mean sea state characterizations showed that the slight sea generally prevailed in the ECS and had nearly the highest occurrence in all seasons and months. Additionally, the moderate sea prevailed in the winter months of December and January, while the smooth (wavelets) sea prevailed in May. Furthermore, the spatial variation of sea states showed that the calm and smooth sea had the largest occurrences in the northern ECS. The slight sea occurred mostly (above 30%) in parts of the ECS and the surrounding locations, while higher occurrences of the rough and very rough seas were distributed in waters between the southwest ECS and the northeast South China Sea (SCS). The occurrences of the phenomenal sea conditions are insignificant and are distributed in the northwest Pacific and its upper region, which includes the Southern Kyushu-Palau Ridge and Ryukyu Trench.
Key wordssignificant wave height wind speed sea state occurrence
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This study is supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFC140 1405) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41376010). The buoy data is provided by the North China Sea Branch of State Oceanic Administration.
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