Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 64, Issue 7, pp 989–998 | Cite as

High-resolution X-Band radar measurements of currents, bathymetry and sea state in highly inhomogeneous coastal areas

  • Katrin HessnerEmail author
  • Konstanze Reichert
  • Jose Carlos Nieto Borge
  • Craig L. Stevens
  • Murray J. Smith
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on the 13th International Workshop on Wave Hindcasting and Forecasting in Banff, Alberta, Canada October 27 - November 1, 2013


In this paper, high-resolution wave, current and water depth fields derived by marine X-Band radar are presented for a coastal region of extreme tidal currents in the presence of inhomogeneous bathymetry at the south coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The current and water depth information for the presented location covers an area of approximately 13 km2 with a spatial resolution of 225 m and an update rate of 3 min. The sea state data provides a spatial representation of coastal effects like wave shoaling and refraction forced by bathymetry and current interaction. The near-surface current measurements about 3 km off the coast show expected tidal current pattern with maximum northwest/southeast current of 1.5–2 m/s alongshore. This is in agreement with currents from the RiCOM hydrodynamic model. The spatial resolution of the observed current field exhibits in addition small-scale current features caused by the influence of the local bathymetry. These data demonstrate the insight to be gained in complex, high-energy coastal situations through the use of high-resolution remote sensing techniques.


Remote sensing Nautical radar High-resolution waves High-resolution current fields Shallow water bathymetry 



The WaMoS II data were acquired within the ONR funded project Hi-Res (N00101411WX20493) and by NIWA under the Coasts and Ocean Research Program. The authors would like to thank John McGregor and Peter Franz (NIWA) for assistance in setting up the field location. The hindcast model data were provided by Emily Lane and Richard Gorman (NIWA). The work presented here was co-funded in the framework of the EU-Project DOLPHIN SPA.2010.1.1-05


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrin Hessner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Konstanze Reichert
    • 2
  • Jose Carlos Nieto Borge
    • 3
  • Craig L. Stevens
    • 4
  • Murray J. Smith
    • 4
  1. 1.OceanWaveS GmbHLueneburgGermany
  2. 2.OceanWaveS PacificLower HuttNew Zealand
  3. 3.University of AlcaláMadridSpain
  4. 4.National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)WellingtonNew Zealand

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