Journal article

Estimating Wind Speed and Direction Using Wave Spectra

JJ Voermans, PB Smit, TT Janssen, AV Babanin

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans | American Geophysical Union | Published : 2020


Compact wave buoys are increasingly used to provide monitoring of coastal and oceanic conditions by measuring surface waves in real time. Due to their relatively compact size, they are generally not suited to measure wind directly. However, since the wave field is intrinsically coupled to the wind field, wave measurements can serve as a proxy observation of ocean surface winds. In this study, we use spectral wave observations to estimate wind speed and direction based on the assumption of a universal shape of the wave energy spectrum in the equilibrium range and the presence of a logarithmic wind speed profile above the ocean surface. The wind speed and direction were estimated between 2014..

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Awarded by DISI Australia-China Centre

Awarded by U.S. Office of Naval Research

Funding Acknowledgements

J. J. V. and A. V. B. were supported by the DISI Australia-China Centre through Grant ACSRF48199. A. V. B. acknowledges support from the U.S. Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-17-1-3021. P. B. S. and T. T. J. acknowledge support from the U.S. Office of Naval Research through Grant N00014-16-1-2856. NDBC buoy data are available at the website (; the Spotter wave buoy data and the absolute values of the RMSE analysis are made available in a repository (DOI:10.5281/zenodo.3568426).