US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS FIELD WAVE GAGING PROGRAM

J. Michael Hemsley

Abstract


While the timely collection and reporting of climatological and environmental data have become routine in many countries, a similar capability for waves, currents, and coastal winds has not. The need for long-term, high quality wave data, in particular, has long frustrated the coastal engineer. In 1974, both Prof. Robert Wiegel and Dean Morrough P. O'Brien commented publically on the need for information on the nearshore wave climate comparable to data routinely available on many other natural phenomena. O'Brien further expressed his concern for improving the accuracy of wave forecasting and hindcasting techniques through comparison with reliable measurements (2). The need for characterizing the nearshore wave climate is much like the experience of conventional meteorological measurement programs. Along coastlines with high population densities, usage of the resource is intense. Ignorance of the processes at work carries a significant penalty. Past programs either have emphasized the collection of deepwater wave climatology or have been too regional or even site specific. With the Field Wave Gaging Program (FWGP), the US Army Corps of Engineers intends to collect the long-term, nearshore wave data that are necessary for planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of coastal projects.

Keywords


wave gauge; gauge program; field waves; USACE

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