Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 7, pp 980–994 | Cite as

Climate and extrema of ocean waves in the East China Sea

  • Hailun He
  • Jinbao SongEmail author
  • Yefei Bai
  • Yao Xu
  • Juanjuan Wang
  • Fan Bi
Research Paper


Wave climate plays an important role in the air-sea interaction over marginal seas. Extreme wave height provides fundamental information for various ocean engineering practices, such as hazard mitigation, coastal structure design, and risk assessment. In this paper, we implement a third generation wave model and conduct a high-resolution wave hindcast over the East China Sea to reconstruct a 15-year wave field from 1988 to 2002 for derivation of monthly mean wave parameters and analysis of extreme wave conditions. The numerical results of the wave field are validated through comparison with satellite altimetry measurements, low-resolution reanalysis, and the ocean wave buoy record. The monthly averaged wave height and wave period show seasonal variation and refined spatial patterns of surface waves in the East China Sea. The climatological significant wave height and mean wave period decrease from the open ocean in the southeast toward the continental area in the northwest, with the pattern generally following the bathymetry. Extreme analysis on the significant wave height at the buoy station indicates the hindcast data underestimate the extreme values relative to the observations. The spatial pattern of extreme wave height shows single peak emerges at the southwest of Ryukyu Island although a wind forcing with multi-core structure at the extreme is applied.


Wave climate East China Sea Extreme value analysis WaveWatch-III 


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The authors would like to thank the SOED HPCC for their computational support, and WAFO group for supplying the code ( The CCMP wind product was provided by Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). TP satellite significant wave height was downloaded from Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA ( Comments and suggestions provided by anonymous reviewers are greatly appreciated. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41476021, 41576013 & 41321004), the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2013AA122803), and National Program on Global Change and Air-Sea Interaction (Grant No. GASI-IPOVAI-04).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hailun He
    • 1
  • Jinbao Song
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yefei Bai
    • 3
  • Yao Xu
    • 4
  • Juanjuan Wang
    • 5
  • Fan Bi
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of OceanographyState Oceanic AdministrationHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Ocean CollegeZhejiang UniversityZhoushanChina
  3. 3.Department of Ocean and Resources EngineeringUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  4. 4.School of Geographic and Oceanographic SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  5. 5.National Marine Environment Forecasting CenterBeijingChina
  6. 6.North China Sea Marine Forecasting Center of State Oceanic AdministrationQingdaoChina
  7. 7.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Ecological Environment and Disaster Prevention and MitigationQingdaoChina

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