Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Marine Physics (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Brian K. Haus

Second Committee Member

Lynn K. Shay

Third Committee Member

Ad Reniers

Fourth Committee Member

Hans C. Graber


To establish the credibility of surface wave measurements from two phased-array WERA HF (High Frequency) radars, SEACOOS (SouthEast Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System) funded the Mini-Waves experiment from March to May, 2005. For this study, the surface wave parameter (significant wave height) and directional wave spectrum obtained from two WERA radars were compared with those obtained from two Tri-Axys buoys during the same period. The Wyatt (1990) method was used to obtain the directional wave spectra, and significant wave heights were obtained by integrating the directional wave spectra over all directions and the selected frequency band. The SWAN (Simulating WAve Nearshore) directional wave model was used to evaluate the comparison results between WERA radars and buoys. There was a good agreement between WERA radars and Tri-Axys buoys when the echo-Doppler spectrum had a high 2nd-order SNR (signal-to-noise) ratio. The measurements didn?t agree in low sea states when the echo-Doppler spectrum had a lower SNR. Also, strong horizontal current shear caused by Florida Current (FC) had an effect on wave propagation direction. To improve the quality of WERA radar wave measurements, a longer sampling interval (10-minute interval) and procedures to remove the effect of RFI are needed.


Wave Measurement; HF Radar; Directional Wave Spectrum