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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse6040116

Sensitivity of Offshore Tropical Cyclone Wave Simulations to Spatial Resolution in Wave Models

Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI 02882, USA
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Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 20 September 2018 / Accepted: 30 September 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Hazards Related to Water)
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Abstract

This study investigated and quantified the sensitivity of tropical cyclone (TC) wave simulations in the open ocean to different spatial resolutions ( 1 / 3 , 1 / 6 , 1 / 12 and 1 / 24 ) using two wave models, WAVEWATCH III (WW3) and Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN). Six idealized TCs of different radii of maximum winds (25 km and 50 km), and of different translation speeds (3 m/s, 6 m/s and 9 m/s) were prescribed to force these two wave models. Results from both models show that the coarsest resolution ( 1 / 3 ) introduces significant errors in both the significant wave height (SWH) and the mean wavelength. Moreover, results reveal that sensitivity to spatial resolution strongly depends on storm characteristics. Waves simulated under the small (25 km) and fast moving (9 m/s) TC show the largest sensitivity to the coarse spatial resolutions. With the 1 / 3 resolution, maximum SWH can be underestimated by as much as 6% in WW3 and 16% in SWAN compared to those with the 1 / 24 resolution. These findings from the idealized TC simulations are further confirmed by wave simulations under a historical storm. Our analysis also demonstrates that spatial smoothing of the input wind field with coarse grids is not the only reason for the errors in wave simulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: sensitivity; spatial resolution; extreme hurricane waves; storm surge-wave coupling sensitivity; spatial resolution; extreme hurricane waves; storm surge-wave coupling
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Chen, X.; Ginis, I.; Hara, T. Sensitivity of Offshore Tropical Cyclone Wave Simulations to Spatial Resolution in Wave Models. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6, 116.

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