Waves and the equilibrium range at Ocean Weather Station P
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2013
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume 118, Issue 11, pages 5951–5962, November 2013
How to Cite
2013), Waves and the equilibrium range at Ocean Weather Station P, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 118, 5951–5962, doi:10.1002/2013JC008837., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 9 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 8 OCT 2013 11:17AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 20 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Received: 6 FEB 2013
- wind stress
 Wave and wind measurements at Ocean Weather Station P (OWS-P, 50°N 145°W) are used to evaluate the equilibrium range of surface wave energy spectra. Observations are consistent with a local balance between wind input and breaking dissipation, as described by Philips (1985). The measurements include direct covariance wind stress estimates and wave breaking dissipation rate estimates during a 3 week research cruise to OWS-P. The analysis is extended to a wider range of conditions using observations of wave energy spectra and wind speed during a 2 year mooring deployment at OWS-P. At moderate wind speeds (5–15 m/s), mooring wave spectra are in agreement, within 5% uncertainty, with the forcing implied by standard drag laws and mooring wind measurements. At high wind speeds (>15 m/s), mooring wave spectra are biased low, by 13%, relative to the forcing implied by standard drag laws and mooring wind measurements. Deviations from equilibrium are associated with directionality and variations at the swell frequencies. A spectral wave hindcast accurately reproduces the mooring observations, and is used to examine the wind input.