Assessment of the use of scatterometer wind data to force wave models in the North Atlantic Ocean

Type Article
Date 2022-12
Language English
Author(s) Silva Dina1, Gonçalves Marta1, Bentamy Abderrahim2, Guedes Soares C.ORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Centre for Marine Technology and Ocean Engineering (CENTEC), Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001, Lisboa, Portugal
2 : Laboratoire Spatial et Interfaces Air-Mer (IFREMER), Centre Bretagne - ZI de la Pointe du Diable, CS 10070, 29280, Plouzané, France
Source Ocean Engineering (0029-8018) (Elsevier BV), 2022-12 , Vol. 266 , N. Part.2 , P. 112803 (10p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2022.112803
WOS© Times Cited 1
Keyword(s) ERA-Interim, ERA5, Satellite, Azores, Madeira

The present work uses for the first time scatterometer wind fields to force a wave model and compares the accuracy of the resulting wave conditions with the ones obtained when using two different sources of hindcast wind fields forcing the same wave spectral model in the Atlantic Ocean. For this purpose, a 5-year hindcast (2010–2014) is performed with the wave spectral model SWAN for the Madeira and Azores archipelagos. The model uses as input the bathymetry from GEBCO, the wave boundary conditions from the WAVEWATCH III wave model provided by Ifremer and winds from the ERA-Interim and ERA5 databases, and remotely sensed winds from scatterometers. A quantitative analysis of the results is performed, and the numerical results are validated against altimeter data and buoy measurements. Globally, ERA-Interim, ERA5 and scatterometer wind data provided similar accuracy of the generated wave fields, as expressed in the error statistics, which are very close to each other, but in the case of extreme events, the scatterometer data reveals more intense winds and consequently lead to sea states with higher significant wave height. This is more visible in the Azores area than in Madeira. The results demonstrate that, in general, the significant wave height is well reproduced by SWAN.

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