Understanding how waves vary in place and time — the wave “climate” (i.e. the heights, frequency and direction of wave approach) offshore any coastline is critically important to the operation and safety of ships working out on the ocean, whether they are fishing boats operating close in to the coast or large container ships travelling across the expanse of the ocean. In the Pacific Northwest waters within the domain of the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), waves impact all aspects of maritime trade and there are indications that the height of extreme waves in the region may be increasing. The impact of this changing wave regime in the particular area of the Columbia River bar, which has claimed over two thousand vessels since the late 1700’s, is vitally important to understand as it is generally throughout the region.

Besides the maritime industry, information on ocean wave climates is important to many other marine stakeholders including coastal residents (be it for recreation or in preparation for a major storm), engineers (e.g. for wave energy extraction or jetty rehabilitation) and by coastal scientists for understanding hazards (e.g. risk from wave runup and overtopping and/or erosion).

Jonathan Allan and Tuba Ozkan-Haller
How to Order : 
Product Number: 
Year of Publication: 
2 pp.
Size and Format: 
8 1/2 x 11, online
Source: Sidelights 42(5):18-19