Journal cover Journal topic
Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ocean Sci., 13, 589-597, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
20 Jul 2017
The “shallow-waterness” of the wave climate in European coastal regions
Kai Håkon Christensen1,3, Ana Carrasco1, Jean-Raymond Bidlot2, and Øyvind Breivik1,4 1Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Henrik Mohns plass 1, 0313 Oslo, Norway
2European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Shinfield Park, Reading, RG2 9AX, UK
3Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Sem Sælands vei 1, 0316, Oslo, Norway
4Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Allégaten 70, 5007, Bergen, Norway
Abstract. In contrast to deep water waves, shallow water waves are influenced by bottom topography, which has consequences for the propagation of wave energy as well as for the energy and momentum exchange between the waves and the mean flow. The ERA-Interim reanalysis is used to assess the fraction of wave energy associated with shallow water waves in coastal regions in Europe. We show maps of the distribution of this fraction as well as time series statistics from eight selected stations. There is a strong seasonal dependence and high values are typically associated with winter storms, indicating that shallow water wave effects can occasionally be important even in the deeper parts of the shelf seas otherwise dominated by deep water waves.

Citation: Christensen, K. H., Carrasco, A., Bidlot, J.-R., and Breivik, Ø.: The “shallow-waterness” of the wave climate in European coastal regions, Ocean Sci., 13, 589-597,, 2017.
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
In this note we investigate when and where we would expect the bottom to influence the dynamics of surface waves. In deep water, where the presence of the bottom is not felt by the waves, modelers can use a simpler description of wave-mean flow interactions; hence, the results are relevant for coupled wave-ocean modeling systems. The most pronounced influence is on the Northwest Shelf during winter, and can sometimes be significant even far from the coast.
In this note we investigate when and where we would expect the bottom to influence the dynamics...