A Comparison of Three Wave-Measuring Buoys

by Anand Gnanadesikan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst, Woods Hole, United States,
Eugene A. Terray, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst, Woods Hole, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Ocean Wave Measurement and Analysis


We compare the performance of three wave-measuring buoys: a Seatex WavescanTM, an Endeco/YSI WavetrackTM, and a taut-moored 3m discus deployed in the Gulf of Alaska during November of 1991. The response of the Seatex buoy is well understood and we use it as a standard of comparison. Nondirectional parameters such as the significant wave height and peak frequency compare extremely well. We compare the directional response between the Seatex and Endeco buoys, showing that they agree well with each other and with the wind direction at high frequencies (0.25-0.33 Hz), but are sometimes different at the spectral peak. The tilt response of the three buoys is described, showing that the buoy transfer function is strongly affected by mooring tension. The Endeco buoy is reasonably described as a tilt follower for periods between 3 and 7 seconds but deviates strongly from this response outside this band.

Subject Headings: Ocean waves | Wave measurement | Water waves | Gravity waves | Tension | Mooring | Mathematical models | Gulf of Alaska

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