Wave Resource Characteristics Near Humboldt Bay – Results from a 10-year Hindcast

Monday, 15 December 2014
Ann Dallman and Vincent S Neary, Sandia National Laboratories, Water Power Technologies, Albuquerque, NM, United States
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) marine and hydrokinetic energy (MHK) Program has identified a need to improve modeling capabilities for near-shore wave climate hind-casting, among other applications. The potential wave energy converter (WEC) test or commercial deployment site offshore of Humboldt Bay, CA was selected to investigate the performance of a nearshore SWAN model and the spatial variability of wave statistics. SNL performed a 10-year hindcast using SWAN (Simulating Waves Nearshore), forced by spectral output from a WAVEWATCH III hindcast. The model was found to be insensitive to bottom friction and whitecapping parameterizations for the locations of interest, which included depths of 40m or greater. Predicted significant wave heights were found to be overbiased due to an overbias in the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) winds used to drive WAVEWATCH III. The spatial variability of the wave statistics calculated from the hindcast simulation were found to vary by season and were affected by the wind direction due to geographic features north of Humboldt Bay. Further details of the model performance along with possible areas of improvement will be discussed.