Note on wave parameters from moored wave buoys

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10 Citations (Scopus)


For decades, the accelerometer wave buoy has been a preferred choice for offshore wave measurements. Although these measurements are accurate and robust, there are some issues of practical character that need to be inspected before using such measurements for detailed time-series investigations. Here three potential sources of inaccuracies are outlined which can appear due to improper mooring, limited high-frequency resolution or overly simple procedures for attaching measurement times (time stamps) to the measurements. The last two of these apply to all types of single-point wave-measuring devices. An example of a wave-height series is given, in which part of the observed variation seems to be induced by the mooring. It is argued that unexpected semi-tidal modulations in measured wave-height can be an indication of a mooring that is too rigid. By truncating observed wave spectra from a deep-water location, it is demonstrated how the high-frequency cut-off limit of a wave measurement influences the most commonly used wave parameters. It is observed that the accuracy of common wave parameters remains acceptable up to a cut-off limit in the range of 0.30-0.35 Hz if the spectra above the cut-off frequency are replaced by a prognostic f- 5 tail. Finally it is noted that the procedure of connecting time stamps to wave measurements can in some cases introduce an artificial time-lag compared to the real-time sea state. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Ocean Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Buoy
  • Measurement
  • Mooring
  • Semi-tidal
  • Wave
  • Waverider


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