Water surface slope spectra in nearshore and river mouth environments

N. J M Laxague, D. G. Ortiz-Suslow, Brian K Haus, N. J. Williams, Hans C Graber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


With the ever-growing interest in satellite remote sensing, direct observations of short wave characteristics are needed along coastal margins. These zones are characterized by a diversity of physical processes that can affect sea surface topography. Here we present connections made between ocean wave spectral shape and wind forcing in coastal waters using polarimetric slope sensing and eddy covariance methods; this is based on data collected in the vicinity of the mouth of the Columbia River (MCR) on the Oregon-Washington border. These results provide insights into the behavior of short waves in coastal environments under variable wind forcing; this characterization of wave spectra is an important step towards improving the use of radar remote sensing to sample these dynamic coastal waters. High wavenumber spectral peaks are found to appear for U 10 > 6 m/s but vanish for τ > 0.1 N/m2, indicating a stark difference between how wind speed and wind stress are related to the short-scale structure of the ocean surface. Near-capillary regime spectral shape is found to be less steep than in past observations and to show no discernable sensitivity to wind forcing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012013
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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