The wonderful world of waves

October 06, 1999

Off the shores of Duck, N.C., researchers will soon gather for an experiment aimed at improving wave forecasting. The experiment, named SHOWEX, or Shoaling Waves Experiment, is part of a 5-year research initiative sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. The experiment will focus on the way in which waves are formed, propagated and dissipated and the way in which they interact with the bottom, currents and other waves. By understanding individual wave components, researchers will be able to better predict when waves will form and how severe they will be. Potential benefits of this research include improvements in the safety of navigation at sea; the safety of military operations; the safety of coastal activities; wave predictions in the surf zone; predictions involving coastal erosion and breakwaters; and weather forecasting. Instruments involved include a twin otter and Long-EZ aircraft; a small water area, twin hull (SWATH) craft; air-sea interaction spar (ASIS) buoys; and subsurface instruments. The most intensive part of the experiment will run Nov. 10 through Dec. 10.

Office of Naval Research

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