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The Efficiency of High-Resolution Wave Dataset on the Performance of Wave Modeling
Proceedings of the 2020 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2020 Authors: Baghbani R., Linhoss A.


Coastal wind-driven waves play an important role in transportation and exchange of mass and energy. The amount and intensity of wave energy determines the rate of erosion and deposition in estuarine systems. Having a continuous spatial-temporal understanding of wave energy can provide a better understanding of coastal processes. Models are convenient tools for wave studies because of their temporal and spatial coverage and resolution.

The aim of this study was to develop and validate a wave model for the Back Bay Biloxi, Mississippi in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The SWAN software (Simulating Waves Nearshore; Delft University of Technology) coupled with ADCIRC (Advance Circulation) was used to simulate wave height and direction. SWAN input data includes: wind speed, wind direction, and a bathymetric mesh. Due to the complexity of the area, an unstructured bathymetric mesh was generated using SMS software (Surface-water Modeling System; US Army Corps of Engineers).

One limitation in many wave modeling studies is the lack of spatially robust wave measurements that can be used for validation. This is due to the fact that installing a large number of wave gauges, in any one site, is usually cost prohibitive. In this study we deployed 38 relatively cheap DIY wave gauges to comprehensively measure wave conditions in Back Biloxi Bay. Wave gauges were deployed three times between June and August 2019 for 7 days during each deployment. These data were used to validate the wave model. Consequently, this study provides a novel validation of a wave model by way of a spatially comprehensive wave measurement dataset.

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