Peter McComb in Southern Ocean seminar at Valparaiso University, Chile

MetOcean Solutions is visiting Chile this week. 

As part of the visit, Managing Director Dr Peter McComb will give a seminar on Friday 5 May at Valparaiso University. The seminar will detail the Southern Ocean wave project, a collaboration between the New Zealand Defence Technology Agency and MetOcean Solutions. As part of the project, MetOcean Solutions helped deploy the world's southernmost moored wave buoy in February 2017.

Dr McComb is excited to share the Southern Ocean project with colleagues in Chile. 

"Southern Ocean waves are famously enormous. Created by persistent westerly winds and a large fetch of uninterrupted ocean, these waves present serious obstacles for any vessels operating in the area. Understanding the dynamics of the Southern Ocean can help us forecast wave conditions, which is important for any nation located close to the Antarctic. 

"As a world first, New Zealand has installed an open ocean wave buoy in the Southern Ocean which can measure the huge waves and provide essential data to help us understand the area. Data collected will be used to improve our models, enabling us create more reliable wave forecasts for the region. We are keen to share data with our Chilean colleagues to ensure that the world science community benefits as much as possible from the project."

The full abstract of the talk is provided below.

An improved wave spectral characterisation of the Southern Ocean
Tom Durrant*, Peter McComb* and Sally Garrett^

The Southern Ocean is the southernmost part of the global ocean and represents around 22% of the world's sea surface area. The combination of persistent westerly winds and the largely unbroken expanse of sea produces potentially enormous fetches, resulting in the Southern Ocean experiencing higher wave heights for longer periods than any other body of water. Due to the harsh ocean environment and remote location, it is also the least observed of any ocean body. While satellite altimeter data can be used to estimate the surface variance, the wave spectral characteristics cannot be measured remotely, and consequently the directional wave spectra Southern Ocean are poorly sampled and not well understood. Here, we present a project that aims to provide a quantitative assessment of the performance of recently implemented improvements of source term physics in WAVEWATCH III in the Southern Ocean, including an analysis of the relative importance of large scale ocean currents. A moored wave buoy at 53 degrees South is an important part of the project scope, and the deployment of this equipment and the data obtained since February 2017 will be presented and discussed.

*MetOcean Solutions. ^ New Zealand Defence Technology Agency

Check out the Southern Ocean wave buoy direct data feed.

Read the New Zealand Herald news article on the project.

Click here for further information about the buoy.