Waves and tidal currents

Wave Hub Impacts on Seabed & Shoreline Processes (WHISSP)

Offshore wave and current data is a key component of WHISSP. Data will be collected using a WERA coastal radar system and by an array of Acoustic Döppler Current Profilers (ADCP) and wave buoys, which will provide data at an unprecedented spatial and temporal scale.

WERA is a HF radar using electromagnetic waves between 6 and 30 MHz to measure surface current velocities, ocean wave height and wind. The transmitted electromagnetic wave travels along the sea surface beyond the horizon and is back-scattered by ocean waves of half the electromagnetic wavelength (Bragg Scattering). Two radar sites are used to measure the full 2-dimensional current and wave conditions with typical working ranges of 115–180 km (currents) and 40-80 km (waves).

Perranporth wave buoy - In the period until the deployment of the above instrumentation, wave data is collected by a wave rider buoy moored several kilometers offshore of Perranporth and maintained by the Plymouth Coastal Observatory. Data are sampled every 30 minutes and transmitted to land where they are archived for analysis.

Buoy data

Example of WERA outout for surface currents from east coast USA (Skidaway Institute of Oceanography)