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Surface current and wave variability experiment

The SCAWVEX project provided data sets that measure the spatial and temporal variability of ocean surface waves and currents. The data sets are available for dissemination on compact disc read only memory (CDROM) and/or file transfer protocol (FTP) sites accessible via the World Wide Web (WWW) ( Measurements were made using high frequency (HF) radar, synthetic aper radar (SAR), Altimeter, X-Band radar, S4DW, acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) as well as more traditional wave and current measuring instruments. The data are from three experiments: Holderness, England, winter 1994/1995 and 1995/1996; Maasmond, the Netherlands, Feb to Apr 1996; Petten, the Netherlands, Oct to Dec 1996. The specific data collection and evaluation objective was complemented by a range of scientific and technological activities. The following summarizes the main SCAWVEX achievements. WERA, a new HF radar has been developed capable of simultaneous wave and current measurement over ranges of 10 to 50km depending on the oceanographic parameter and conditions with respect to measuring waves and currents, a demonstration was given of: the suitability of HF radar for simultaneous wave and current monitoring; the respective merits and synergies of measuring waves via: radar (HF, SAR and altimeters and X-band), buoys, bottom-mounted pressure sensors (with and without current corrections). Insights and capabilities were improved concerning the assimilation of HF radar data into models to support future operational oceanography applications. Illustrations of the sensitivities of wave analyses to: instrumental characteristics (limitations), coincident dynamics (wind and currents), numerical techniques were attained. A demonstration was given of the fine-scale variability and high frequency evolution of waves and current in coastal waters and insights into wave-current interaction processes were achieved. Comprehensive, validated data for both model development and understanding dynamical processes and data for intercomparisons of both instrumentation and characteristics of three open-coast sites were compiled.