Observing Sea States

Type Article
Date 2019-04
Language English
Author(s) Ardhuin FabriceORCID11, Stopa Justin2, Chapron BertrandORCID1, Collard Fabrice3, Husson Romain4, Jensen Robert E.5, Johannessen Johnny6, Mouche AlexisORCID1, Passaro Marcello7, Quartly Graham D.8, Swail Val9, Young Ian10
Affiliation(s) 1 : Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, IUEM, Univ. Brest, Brest, France
2 : Ocean Resources and Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, United States
3 : OceanDataLab, Locmaria Plouzane, France
4 : CLS, Division Radar, Plouzané, France
5 : United States Army Crops of Engineers, Vicksburg, MS, United States
6 : Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Bergen, Norway
7 : Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut der Technischen Universität München, Munich, Germany
8 : Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, United Kingdom
9 : Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada
10 : University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
11 : Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, IUEM, Univ. Brest, Brest, France
Source Frontiers In Marine Science (2296-7745) (Frontiers Media SA), 2019-04 , Vol. 6 , N. 124 , P. 29p.
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2019.00124
WOS© Times Cited 94
Keyword(s) sea state, waves, altimeter, SAR, swell, remote sensing, buoy, microseisms

Sea state information is needed for many applications, ranging from safety at sea and on the coast, for which real time data are essential, to planning and design needs for infrastructure that require long time series. The definition of the wave climate and its possible evolution requires high resolution data, and knowledge on possible drift in the observing system. Sea state is also an important climate variable that enters in air-sea fluxes parameterizations. Finally, sea state patterns can reveal the intensity of storms and associated climate patterns at large scales, and the intensity of currents at small scales. A synthesis of user requirements leads to requests for spatial resolution at kilometer scales, and estimations of trends of a few centimeters per decade. Such requirements cannot be met by observations alone in the foreseeable future, and numerical wave models can be combined with in situ and remote sensing data to achieve the required resolution. As today's models are far from perfect, observations are critical in providing forcing data, namely winds, currents and ice, and validation data, in particular for frequency and direction information, and extreme wave heights. In situ and satellite observations are particularly critical for the correction and calibration of significant wave heights to ensure the stability of model time series. A number of developments are underway for extending the capabilities of satellites and in situ observing systems. These include the generalization of directional measurements, an easier exchange of moored buoy data, the measurement of waves on drifting buoys, the evolution of satellite altimeter technology, and the measurement of directional wave spectra from satellite radar instruments. For each of these observing systems, the stability of the data is a very important issue. The combination of the different data sources, including numerical models, can help better fulfill the needs of users.

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Ardhuin Fabrice, Stopa Justin, Chapron Bertrand, Collard Fabrice, Husson Romain, Jensen Robert E., Johannessen Johnny, Mouche Alexis, Passaro Marcello, Quartly Graham D., Swail Val, Young Ian (2019). Observing Sea States. Frontiers In Marine Science, 6(124), 29p. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00124 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00489/60090/