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https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-198
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-198
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  07 Jul 2020

07 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Wave climate and storm activity in the Kara sea

Stanislav Myslenkov1,2,3, Vladimir Platonov1, Alexander Kislov1, Ksenia Silvestrova2, and Igor Medvedev2,4 Stanislav Myslenkov et al.
  • 1Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991, Moscow, Russia
  • 2Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS, 117997, Moscow, Russia
  • 3Hydrometeorological Research Centre of the Russian Federation, 123242, Moscow, Russia
  • 4Fedorov Institute of Applied Geophysics, 129128, Moscow, Russia

Abstract. Recurrence of extreme wind waves in the Kara Sea strongly influences the Arctic climate change. The paper presents the analysis of wave climate and storm activity in the Kara Sea based on the results of numerical modeling. A third-generation wave model WaveWatchIII is used to reconstruct wind wave fields on an unstructured grid with a spatial resolution of 15–20 km for the period from 1979 to 2017.

The mean and maximum wave heights, wavelengths and periods are calculated. The maximum significant wave height (SWH) for the whole period amounts to 9.9 m. The average long-term SWH for the ice-free period does not exceed 1.3 m. The seasonal variability of the wave parameters is analyzed.

The interannual variability of storm waves recurrence with different thresholds (from 3 to 7 m) was calculated. A significant linear trend shows an increase in the storm wave frequency for the period from 1979 to 2017. A double growth in the reccurence was observed for cases with an SWH more than 3–5 m from 1979 to 2017. The local maximum of the storm waves more than 3–4 m was observed in 1995, and the minimum in 1998. The maximum value (four cases) of the number of storms with an SWH threshold 7 m is registered in 2016. The frequency of wind speeds and ice conditions contributing to the storm waves formation were analyzed. It is shown that trends in the storm activity of the Kara Sea are primarily regulated by the ice. If the ice cover decreases in the southern part of the sea that leads to the increase of the number of events only with SWH threshold more than 3–4 m. If in the entire sea the ice cover decreases that leads already to increase of the extreme storms. The frequency of strong and long-term winds has high interannual variability and a weak positive trend.

The analysis of distribution functions of the storm events with an SWH more than 3 m was carried out. Six different sectors of the Kara Sea were analyzed to reveal spatial differences. A comparison of the different distribution laws showed that the Pareto distribution is in the best agreement with the data. Up to 99 % of the points are described by this distribution. However, the extreme events with an SWH more than 6–7 m deviate from the distribution, and their probability is approximately twice as less as that predicted by the Pareto distribution. Presumably, this deviation is caused by the combined impact of rare wind speed frequencies and anomalies of the sea ice conditions.

Stanislav Myslenkov et al.

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Stanislav Myslenkov et al.

Stanislav Myslenkov et al.

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The paper presents the analysis of wave climate and storm activity in the Kara Sea based on the results of numerical modeling. A wave model is used to reconstruct wind wave fields for the period from 1979 to 2017. The maximum significant wave height for the whole period amounts to 9.9 m. A significant linear trend shows an increase in the storm wave frequency for the period from 1979 to 2017.
The paper presents the analysis of wave climate and storm activity in the Kara Sea based on the...
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