ABSTRACT

Wandres, M., Pattiaratchi, C., Wijeratne, E.M.S., Hetzel, Y., 2016. The influence of the subtropical high-pressure ridge on the Western Australian wave climate. In: Vila-Concejo, A.; Bruce, E.; Kennedy, D.M., and McCarroll, R.J. (eds.), Proceedings of the 14th International Coastal Symposium (Sydney, Australia). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 75, pp. 567–571. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

Understanding the wave climate of a region is critical for its coastal zone management. The southwest Western Australian (SWWA) wave climate is dominated by waves generated in the energetic and variable Southern Ocean (SO) storm belt. The latitudinal variability of the SO storm belt can be described by the position (latitude) of the subtropical high-pressure ridge (STRP). To gain an understanding in how the SO storm belt influences the SWWA wave climate, the relationship between the STRP and the waves was examined. Wave data from three directional wave buoys along the SWWA shelf were compared to the STRP. The seasonal and interannual variability of the STRP and the wave climate indicated a significant correlation between the STRP and the SWWA wave heights with the strongest relationship during winter. A northward shift of the STRP resulted in a northward shift of the SO storm belt which led to increased wave heights in SWWA whereas a southward shift of the STRP resulted in decreased wave heights. The close relationship between the STRP and the local wave climate, suggests it could be used to estimate future wave climates in SWWA.

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