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Homework Help: Spectral Analysis Applied to Ocean Waves

  1. Jun 23, 2011 #1
    1. I am currently looking at the area of spectral analysis applied to ocean waves. I have a set of "raw" recorded data of wave height, direction, frequency etc. I understand that spectral analysis is used to validate/process wave data recorded by instruments.

    2. Have I more or less understood the principle correctly here? I am an engineer rather than a scientist/mathematician so I don't need to become an expert on the finer details of spectral analysis, a basic level understanding is all that's required!

    3. My understanding is that real water waves (to a certain degree at least) behave according to theorectical wave patterns. As such, applying spectral analysis to "raw" data determines the extent to which theoretical wave behaviour matches measured wave behaviour. In this way, outliers or rogue data which do not correspond to theorectical expected patterns can be eliminated/adjusted, thereby yielding more representative results.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2011 #2

    I think your understanding is reasonably accurate. This is a very complex subject, as you know, so a simple summary can't do the subject justice. But for your purposes, you seem to be in good shape.

    Your third statement is particularly valid if you know something about the wind conditions that created the waves. For example, if you know that constant wind velocity existed over a long period of time over a very wide area, then you would expect a Pierson-Moskowitz type spectrum which is a steady state prediction. There are also other models for developing sea-states in more confined areas, and if you know something about the details, you can have some idea of the expected spectrum.
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