Surface Current And Wave Variability EXperiment

The SCAWVEX (MAS2-CT94-0103) project, 1/2/95-31/1/98

MAST MAST (Marine Science and Technology Programme)

Project coordinator: L Wyatt, University of Sheffield

Partners: K-W.Gurgel, Institut fur Meereskunde; K. van Ruiten, RWS-RIKZ; H.E.Krogstad, SINTEF; S. Barstow,Oceanor; D.Prandle, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory; H.Gerritsen, Delft Hydraulics; G.J.Wensink, Argoss

The SCAWVEX project is addressing problems in wave and current development and their interaction in shallow water environments. The primary object is to measure the spatial and temporal variability of waves and currents in coastal regions utilising the full range of state of the art measurement techniques and models.

Three experiments contribute to the programme (see map below), all of which have been completed. At Holderness (on the North-East coast of England) the environment is primarily one of fetch-limited wind wave development. Petten (in the Netherlands) is more exposed to west, north westerly storms but with a similar smoothly varying (both parallel and perpendicular to the coast) bathymetry. The Rhine Outflow (also in the Netherlands) provides a contrast (and more of a challenge to some instruments) both in the more complex bathymetric variation and in the volume of shipping. The latter may impose some limitations on the HF radar measurements since ship echoes (unless anchored) tend to fall in the frequency range containing the wave echoes.

Most of the Holderness analysis is completed and reports and CD-roms are being prepared. The Maasmond and Petten data are being processed now. The measurement systems used in these experiments included HF radar, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), satellite altimeter, accelerometers, ADCP, current meters, pressure cells and X-band ground-based radar. These are being intercompared to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to quantify measurement accuracies. This information is being used in the development of optimisation methodologies to combine measurements and models to give the best estimates of wave and current fields. Data sets have been prepared for wider use in the modelling community that provide examples of wave transformations in shallow water, time/space scales of wave development and current variability and wave/current/bathymetry interaction. These data sets could be used for other approaches to the measurement/model integration problem perhaps with particular applications in mind.

Click on the map below for a larger-scale map of each experiment, showing the bathymetry and the locations of the radar sites and the in-situ wave measurements.

Map of North Sea

The Rhine Outflow (Maasmond) Experiment
The Petten Experiment
The Holderness Experiment
HF Radar Measurements by University of Hamburg
Links to other MAST projects