Instrumented Buoy Network Response to Ocean Swell

by Theodore Mettlach, Computer Sciences Corp, John C. Stennis Space Cent, United States,
David Gilhousen, Computer Sciences Corp, John C. Stennis Space Cent, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Ocean Wave Measurement and Analysis


The National Data Buoy Center has an extensive network of more than 20 moored buoys along the west coast of North America And in the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. The network ranges from the Gulf of Alaska to the Southern California Bight. All of the buoys in this network measure wave spectra and some buoys also measure directional wave spectra. The individual buoy responses to the long-period swell that were generated by intense midlatitude cyclones in the mid-Pacific during September and December 1991 are documented and described. These cyclones account for three of the four such storms since January 1988 that have generated swell that reached the west coast with a dominant wave period of 25 seconds or greater. It is shown that the characteristically coherent response by the buoy network to the arrival of the swell from these storms can be exploited using linear wave theory to forecast the arrival of such swell.

Subject Headings: Ocean waves | Water waves | Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones | Wave spectra | Wave measurement | Ocean engineering | Storms | North America | Pacific Ocean | Gulf of Alaska | California | United States

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