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  Estonian Journal of Earth Sciences

ISSN 1736-7557 (electronic)  ISSN 1736-4728 (print)
An international scientific journal

Formerly: Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Geology
Published since 1952

Estonian Journal of Earth Sciences

ISSN 1736-7557 (electronic)  ISSN 1736-4728 (print)
An international scientific journal

Formerly: Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Geology
Published since 1952

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Locally calibrated wave hindcasts in the Estonian coastal sea in 1966–2011; pp. 42–56

(Full article in PDF format) doi: 10.3176/earth.2013.05


Authors

Ülo Suursaar

Abstract

Wave parameters were studied in four differently exposed fetch-limited Estonian coastal sea locations: the Harilaid Peninsula facing W–NW, Letipea N–NE, Matsi SW and Kõiguste SE. Based on high-quality measurements of waves with the bottom-mounted Recording Doppler Current Profiler in 2006–2011, a model for significant wave height was calibrated separately for those locations. Using wind forcing data from Estonian coastal meteorological stations, a set of hindcasts was obtained over the period of 1966–2011. The wave heights showed some quasi-periodic cycles with a high stage in 1980–1995, and probably also from 2007; a prevailing overall decrease in the mean wave height; an increase in high wave events at the windward coasts of West Estonia but a decrease at the northern and southeastern coasts. The spatially contrasting results for differently exposed coasts reflect the corresponding variations in local wind, which are probably caused by changes in large-scale atmospheric pressure patterns above Northern Europe and a poleward shift of cyclones’ trajectories. Although featuring outstanding calibration results, the long-term wave hindcast may be impacted by possible inhomogeneities in the older wind data.

Keywords

wave modelling, wave measurements, fetch, wind climate, climate change, Baltic Sea.

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