Brazilian offshore wave climate based on NWW3 reanalysis

  • Pianca C
  • Mazzini P
  • Siegle E
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Abstract

A B S T R A C T This paper provides a description of the wave climate off the Brazilian coast based on an eleven-year time series (Jan/1997-Dec/2007) obtained from the NWW3 operational model hindcast reanalysis. Information about wave climate in Brazilian waters is very scarce and mainly based on occasional short-term observations, the present analysis being the first covering such temporal and spatial scales. To define the wave climate, six sectors were defined and analyzed along the Brazilian shelf-break: South (W1), Southeast (W2), Central (W3), East (W4), Northeast (W5) and North (W6). W1, W2 and W3 wave regimes are determined by the South Atlantic High (SAH) and the passage of synoptic cold fronts; W4, W5 and W6 are controlled by the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and its meridional oscillation. The most energetic waves are from the S, generated by the strong winds associated to the passage of cold fronts, which mainly affect the southern region. Wave power presents a decrease in energy levels from south to north, with its annual variation showing that the winter months are the most energetic in W1 to W4, while in W5 and W6 the most energetic conditions occur during the austral summer. The information presented here provides boundary conditions for studies related to coastal processes, fundamental for a better understanding of the Brazilian coastal zone. R E S U M O O presente trabalho apresenta o clima de ondas da região ao largo da costa brasileira com base em uma série temporal de onze anos (Jan/1997-Dez/2007) obtida através de dados de reanálise do modelo operacional NWW3. Informações sobre o regime de ondas no Brasil são escassas e baseadas em observações ocasionais de curto período, sendo a presente análise inédita na escala espaço-temporal apresentada. Para a definição do clima de ondas foram definidos e analisados seis setores ao longo da quebra da plataforma continental brasileira: Sul (W1), Sudeste (W2), Central (W3), Leste (W4), Nordeste (W5) e Norte (W6). W1, W2 e W3 possuem os regimes de ondas controlados pela Alta Subtropical do Atlântico Sul (ASAS) e pela passagem de frentes frias sinóticas; W4, W5 e W6 são controlados pela Zona de Convergência Intertropical (ZCIT) e sua oscilação meridional. As ondas mais energéticas são de S, geradas por ventos intensos associados à passagem de frentes frias, afetando principalmente a região sul e sudeste do país. A energia das ondas apresenta um decréscimo de sul para norte, com a sua variação anual mostrando que o período de inverno as ondas são mais energéticas nos setores W1 a W4, enquanto que nos setores W5 e W6 as condições mais energéticas ocorrem nos meses de verão do hemisfério sul. As informações aqui apresentadas fornecem condições de contorno para diferentes estudos relacionados a processos costeiros, fundamentais para a melhor compreensão da zona costeira do Brasil.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Brazilian Coast
  • Sea state
  • WaveWatch III
  • Waves

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