Extreme wave heights in the North Atlantic from altimeter data

Wimmer, Werenfrid; Challenor, Peter; Retzler, Chris. 2006 Extreme wave heights in the North Atlantic from altimeter data. Renewable Energy, 31 (2). 241-248.

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Extreme waves are an important ocean feature. We estimate return values of significant wave height from measurements by satellite altimeters over the North Atlantic. The data were divided into 2° latitude by 2° longitude grid squares and the median along the satellite track was taken in each. Return values were estimated by fitting a Generalised Pareto Distribution to all values above a threshold, which was allowed to vary spatially. This method is objective, more statistically robust and thus theoretically preferable to fitting a distribution to all the data. The novel method gave return values that were up to 37% smaller than those estimated by fitting a Fisher-Tippet 1 distribution to all the data.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0960-1481
Additional Keywords: extreme wave heights, generalised pareto distribution
Date made live: 23 Mar 2006 +0 (UTC)

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