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A spar buoy for high frequency wave measurements and detection of wave breaking in the open ocean

Pascal, R.W., Srokosz, M.A., Moat, B.I., Waugh, E.M., Comben, D.H., Clansdale, A.G., Hartman, M.C., Coles, D.G.H., Hsueh, Ping-Chang and Leighton, T.G. (2011) A spar buoy for high frequency wave measurements and detection of wave breaking in the open ocean Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 28, (4), pp. 590-605. (doi:10.1175/2010JTECHO764.1).

Record type: Article


Waves and wave breaking play a significant role in the air-sea exchanges of momentum, sea spray aerosols and trace gases such as CO2 but few direct measurements of wave breaking have been obtained in the open ocean (far from the coast). This paper describes the development and initial deployments on two research cruises of an autonomous spar buoy that was designed to obtain such open ocean measurements. The buoy was equipped with: capacitance wave wires and accelerometers to measure surface elevation and wave breaking; downward looking still and video digital cameras to obtain images of the sea surface; sub-surface acoustic and optical sensors to detect bubble clouds from breaking waves. The buoy was free drifting and was designed to collect data autonomously for days at a time before being recovered. Therefore, on the two cruises during which the buoy was deployed, this allowed a variety of sea states to be sampled in mean wind speeds which ranged from 5 to 18 m/s.

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Published date: May 2011
Organisations: Ocean Technology and Engineering, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate


Local EPrints ID: 71822
ISSN: 0739-0572
PURE UUID: 125000d7-8fc7-4729-8d1d-aef32998d309
ORCID for T.G. Leighton: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 04 Jan 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:58

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Author: R.W. Pascal
Author: M.A. Srokosz
Author: B.I. Moat
Author: E.M. Waugh
Author: D.H. Comben
Author: A.G. Clansdale
Author: M.C. Hartman
Author: D.G.H. Coles
Author: Ping-Chang Hsueh
Author: T.G. Leighton ORCID iD

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