Wave transformation during extratropical storm

Charles L. Vincent, Robert E. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wave observations made during an October 1990 storm on the North Carolina coast are used to investigate the evolution of wind waves as they propagate from about 48 m to 8.5 m of water. The observations include height, period, and direction as well as frequency and directional spectra. The wave measurements are separated by 90 km with simple bathymetry. During the active wind-sea growth (winds of 25 m/s), spatial and temporal changes in the wave field indicate that a quasi-steady-state assumption is no longer valid. Later, the wave field becomes a mixture of two wave systems: swell out of the northeast and a wind-sea system from the northwest. It is concluded that even for a relatively simple storm, evaluation of the physical mechanisms and prediction require a time-dependent numerical model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-260
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering


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