R-04-05 Wave predictions for coastal Gulf of Maine

Vijay Panchang
Maritime Systems Engineering Department
Texas A & M University
P.O. Box 1675
Galveston, TX 77553-1675

On Maine’s 3,000 mile coastline, surface waves may comprise the most energetic elements of the physical oceanography affecting coastal communities and habitats. Information about wave conditions has many applications, including the safety of boat or ship operations, the transport of sediment or nutrients in the water, the siting of aquaculture activities, and coastal engineering. Building on previous Maine Sea Grant-funded wave modeling studies, Panchang developed a detailed atlas of fine-resolution wave climates in coastal Maine and a computerized wave prediction system for forecasting wave heights.

Wave forecasts now cover all of coastal Maine, providing 48-hour forecasts of wave height, peak period, and wave direction (see the Web site). A module was added last year for wave-induced surface drift velocities, which NOAA oil spill forecasters requested and access as needed. Surfers in Maine use the online forecasts to choose locations and times best suited for surfing. Learn more at the GoMOOS site.

2-year project, 2004-2006
Total Sea Grant funds: $95,000

Associated Publications
Chen, W., V. Panchang and Z Demirbilek. 2005. On the modeling of wave-current interaction using the eliiptic mild-slope wave equation. Ocean Engineering 32:2135-2164.

Li, D., Panchang, V., and Jin, J. 2005. Development of an online coastal wave prediction system, pp. 24-32 in L. Wallendorf, L. Ewing, S. Rogers and C. Jones (editors), Solutions to Coastal Disasters. American Society of Civil Engineers.

Panchang, V.G., Jeong, C. and Li, D. 2008. Wave climatology in coastal Maine for aquaculture and other applications. Estuaries and Coasts 31:289-299.

Panchang, V., and D. Li. 2006. Large waves in the Gulf of Mexico Caused by Hurricane Ivan. American Meteorological Society April 2006:481-489.

Schmitt, C. 2008. Bizarre wave event in Boothbay Harbor puzzles scientists. The Working Waterfront, Vol. 21, No. 11.