On Consistent Parameterizations for Both Dominant Wind-Waves and Spectral Tail Directionality

Matias Alday*, Fabrice Ardhuin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Numerical wave models have been developed to reproduce the evolution of waves generated in all directions and over a wide range of wavelengths. The amount of wave energy in the different directions and wavelength is the result of a number of physical processes that are not well understood and that may not be represented in parameterizations. Models have generally been tuned to reproduce dominant wave properties: significant wave height, mean direction, dominant wavelengths. A recent update in wave dissipation parameterizations has shown that it can produce realistic energy levels and directional distribution for shorter waves too. Here, we show that this new formulation of the wave energy sink can reproduce the variability of measured infrasound power below a frequency of 2 Hz, associated with a large energy level of waves propagating perpendicular to the wind, for waves with frequencies up to 1 Hz. The details are sensitive to the balance between the non-linear transfer of energy away from the wind direction, and the influence of dominant and relatively long waves on the dissipation of shorter waves in other directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022JC019581
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • nonlinear interactions
  • source term balance
  • spectral shape
  • wave dissipation


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