Climatological wave height, wave period and wave power along coastal areas of the East Coast of the United States and Gulf of Mexico

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Description This U.S. Geological Survey data release provides data on spatial variations in climatological wave parameters (significant wave height, peak wave period, and wave power) for coastal areas along the United States East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. Significant wave height is the average wave height, from crest to trough, of the highest one-third of the waves in a specific time period. Peak wave period is the wave period associated with the most energetic waves in the wave spectrum in a specific time period. Wave power is the energy per unit length generated by the movement of ocean waves. Climatological wave conditions provide the average forcing that can lead to changes in the coastal environment. For the generation of this dataset, we use model simulations. Waves under different climatological wind forcing conditions averaged from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) Re-Analysis (ERA-5) were simulated using the coupled ADCIRC/SWAN model system. Coastal areas are resolved with horizontal resolutions on the order of hundreds of meters. The ADCIRC/SWAN simulations provide steady-state wave conditions under constant wind at each computational point of an unstructured grid that covers the entire area of interest—from the open ocean to overland areas up to approximately 15 meters above the North American Vertical Datum of 1988. The simulations provide wave height and period and are also used to calculate wave power. We consider the frequency of occurrence of each wind magnitude and direction bin for each location to reconstruct weighted-average wave conditions. The resulting wave parameters are provided at all points of the computational grid less than 10 meter elevation and shallower than -30 meter bottom depth (North American Vertical Datum of 1988). Grid points above 10 meters and deeper than 30 meters are given a fill value. [More]
Originators Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.; Defne, Zafer; Kalra, Tarandeep S.; Blanton, Brian O.; and Ganju, Neil K.
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Graphic showing climatological wave height along the US East Coast.
Graphic showing climatological wave height along the US East Coast.