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Conference Papers Year : 2022

Characterizing sea state variability along the French Atlantic coast


Sea states condition a large part of marine activities in the coastal zone, such as navigation, fishing, maritime engineering, port logistics, and even nautical leisure activities. In order to monitor, understand and predict sea states, it is essential to have access to observation databases both in the form of historical archives and near real time data. These data generally come from networks of in situ measuring instruments, coastal radars, satellite remote sensing or modeling systems, each of which has its strengths and limitations. In France, the Centre d’Archivage National des Données de Houle In Situ (CANDHIS) aims to disseminate wave buoy data acquired in the coastal zone to the scientific community, maritime professionals and the general public. The CANDHIS network includes around a hundred wave recorders deployed along the French coasts and overseas. These instruments are mostly located within 50 kilometers from the coast and provide every hour sea state parameters, such as the significant wave height, wave period and wave direction. However, depending on the environmental characteristics of the sites (bathymetry, currents, climatology) selected to deploy the instruments, the spatial representativeness of these acquisitions can vary significantly. In this study, we seek to characterize the scales of spatial representativeness of the sea state parameters recorded by 11 buoys of the CANDHIS network along the French Atlantic coastline from retrospective simulations obtained using a high-resolution regional spectral wave model. For each of the stations, areas of representativeness are defined from the degree of similarity between the time series simulated at the station and those of neighboring nodes, estimated from statistical parameters. The variability and spatial distribution of the representativeness areas obtained for all of the stations along the coast of mainland France are then analyzed with regard to the very diverse environmental conditions encountered along this coast. The consequences for the exploitation of these data are finally discussed.

Dates and versions

hal-03880149 , version 1 (30-11-2022)



Grégoire Mureau, Guillaume Dodet, Serge S. Suanez. Characterizing sea state variability along the French Atlantic coast. XVIIèmes Journées Nationales Génie Côtier – Génie Civil, Oct 2022, Chatou, France. pp.129-142, ⟨10.5150/jngcgc.2022.015⟩. ⟨hal-03880149⟩
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