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Dynamically downscaled future wave projections from SWAN model results for the main Hawaiian Islands


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Elias, E.P.L., and Storlazzi, C.D., 2019, Dynamically downscaled future wave projections from SWAN model results for the main Hawaiian Islands: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Projected wave climate trends from WAVEWATCH3 model output were used as input for nearshore wave models (for example, SWAN) for the main Hawaiian Islands to derive data and statistical measures (mean and top 5 percent values) of wave height, wave period, and wave direction for the recent past (1996-2005) and future projections (2026-2045 and 2085-2100). Three-hourly global climate model (GCM) wind speed and wind direction output from four different GCMs provided by the Coupled Model Inter-Comparison Project, phase 5 (CMIP5), were used as boundary conditions to the physics-based WAVEWATCH3 numerical wave model for the area encompassing the main Hawaiian islands. Two climate change scenarios for each of the four GCMs were run: the representative [...]

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“Example map of SWAN output for Hsig [m] - Hindcast simulation”
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“Example map of SWAN output for Hwave vector mean - Hindcast simulation.”
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“Example map of SWAN output for Hwave vector peak - Hindcast simulation”
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“Example map of SWAN output for Tmean wave period [s] - Hindcast simulation”
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“Example map of SWAN output for Tpeak wave period [s] - Hindcast simulation”
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“Example map of SWAN outpBottom orbital velocity Ubot [m/s] - Hindcast simulation”
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“Overview of the high-resolution model grids”
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Changes in future wave climates in the tropical Pacific Ocean from global climate change are not well understood. Spatially and temporally varying waves dominate coastal morphology and ecosystem structure of the islands throughout the tropical Pacific. Waves also impact coastal infrastructure, natural and cultural resources, and coastal-related economic activities of the islands. Whereas scientific understanding of the dominant processes controlling coastal morphology and coastal and marine ecosystem structure on islands has improved over the past decade, our understanding of the linkages between these factors and variations in the wave climate across the Pacific is limited. Furthermore, the influence of global climate change on wind and wave conditions is not well understood. Stationary statistical approaches (such as return values) have typically been used to predict future extreme and mean wind and wave conditions, but with the changing climate this may not be a valid approach. Although some nonstationary statistical approaches (for example, nonstationary generalized extreme values) may sufficiently capture the variations and changes, recent work seems to point in the direction that the current climate alone cannot be used to estimate future conditions. Information on potential changes in wave climate under future global climate change scenarios is therefore crucial to understanding not only the sustainability of existing infrastructure, natural, and cultural resources, but also planning for future investments in infrastructure and the viability of coastal-related economic activities such as fishing and tourism.
Overview of the high-resolution model grids
Overview of the high-resolution model grids


Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS


  • Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
  • USGS Data Release Products



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Input directly

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DOI doi:10.5066/F7G73CP1

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