Marine Science Faculty Publications

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high wind speed, hurricane, shelf shoulder, significant wave height, storm surge, wave simulation

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The effects of wind input parameterizations on wave estimations under hurricane conditions are examined using the unstructured grid, third-generation wave model, Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN). Experiments using Hurricane Ike wind forcing, which impacted the Gulf of Mexico in 2008, illustrate that the default and recommended setting for the wind input parameterization tends to overestimate the maximum significant wave heights in the deep Gulf of Mexico by about 2 m when comparing with observations. The overestimation can be remedied either by adjusting the maximum value of the surface drag coefficient or by substituting a high wind speed formula for the default low to moderate wind speed. Because of added dissipative effects in the shallow coastal areas, the overestimations found in deep water have limited effect on the waves in the near shore shallower waters. Thus, previous wave model results using a low to moderate wind speed bulk formula may still be reliable in waters shallower than about 20-30 m even while overestimating significant wave heights in deeper waters under hurricane conditions.

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, v. 118, issue 8, p. 3916-3938

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