Articles | Volume 10, issue 11
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 2327–2340, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-10-2327-2010

Special issue: 11th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Storms

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 2327–2340, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-10-2327-2010

Research article 19 Nov 2010

Research article | 19 Nov 2010

Trend analysis of wave storminess: wave direction and its impact on harbour agitation

M. Casas-Prat and J. P. Sierra M. Casas-Prat and J. P. Sierra
  • Centre Internacional d'Investigació dels Recursos Costaners, Jordi Girona 1-3, Mòdul D1 Campus Nord, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
  • Laboratori d'Enginyeria Marítima, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Jordi Girona 1-3, Mòdul D1 Campus Nord, 08034 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract. In the context of wave climate variability, long-term alterations in the wave storminess pattern of the Catalan coast (northwestern Mediterranean Sea) are analysed in terms of wave energy content and wave direction, on the basis of wave hindcast data (from 44-year time series). In general, no significant temporal trends are found for annual mean and maximum energy. However, the same analysis carried out separately for different wave directions reveals a remarkable increase in the storm energy of events from the south, which is partly due to a rise in the annual percentage of such storms. A case study of Tarragona Port (on the southern Catalan coast) highlights the importance of including changes in wave direction in the study of potential impacts of climate change. In particular, an increase in the frequency of storms from the south leads to greater agitation inside the Port.

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