An integrated system for the study of wind-wave source terms in finite-depth water

Ian R. Young, Michael L. Banner, Mark A. Donelan, Alexander V. Babanin*, W. Kendall Melville, Fabrice Veron, Cyril McCormick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


A field experiment to study the spectral balance of the source terms for wind-generated waves in finite water depth was carried out in Lake George, Australia. The measurements were made from a shore-connected platform at varying water depths from 1.2 m down to 20 cm. Wind conditions and the geometry of the lake were such that fetch-limited conditions with fetches ranging from approximately 10 km down to 1 km prevailed. The resulting waves were intermediate-depth wind waves with inverse wave ages in the range 1 < U10/Cp <8. The atmospheric input, bottom friction, and whitecap dissipation were measured directly and synchronously by an integrated measurement system, described in the paper. In addition, simultaneous data defining the directional wave spectrum, atmospheric boundary layer profile, and atmospheric turbulence were available. The contribution to the spectral evolution due to nonlinear interactions of various orders is investigated by a combination of bispectral analysis of the data and numerical modeling. The relatively small scale of the lake enabled experimental conditions such as the wind field and bathymetry to be well defined. The observations were conducted over a 3-yr period, from September 1997 to August 2000, with a designated intensive measurement period [the Australian Shallow Water Experiment (AUSWEX)] carried out in August-September 1999. High data return was achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-831
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


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