How is sea state measured? Here are the scales used to classify wave motion

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Movement of waves, sea.
There are actually two types of classification scales that differ according to the state of the sea, especially if it is a “living sea” or a “dead sea”.
Daniel Ingemi Daniel Ingemi 4 minutes

IN 1920 vice admiral Henry Percy Douglashydrograph of royal navy, british navy, I created a familiar scale that is used to rate the strength and state of the sea. The scale classifies sea state based on significant wave height, i.e. the average between the third of the highest waves.

So when we hear about a significant wave 3.0 metersmeans that the average of the wave at a given instant is 3.0 meters. This means that there can be higher waves, even higher 5.0 meters.

Douglas scale for the living sea

There are actually two types of classification scales that differ depending on the sea state, especially if it is “living sea” or “dead Sea”.

In this case Douglas scale it is the one used to define the strength of the so-called “living sea”i.e. wave motion created directly by the wind blowing in or near the observation area.

Douglas scale
Many make the mistake of using the Douglas scale to classify Dead Sea waves.

PUSH Douglas scale is most commonly used and is structured in 9 grades that indicate ranges of wave height, from sea force 0 (calm sea) to sea force 9 (stormy), with a significant wave > 14 meters.

The Swell Scale (Dead Sea)

Many make the mistake of using Douglas scale classify the waves of the Dead Sea. Due to the characteristics of this type of sea, the Douglas scale is not suitable for this type of sea state.

It is for this reason that there is another scale that defines it The Dead Sea, where the motion of the waves create stormy regions, in this case it will be long waves, or it is the remnants of a very strong wind that has stopped blowing, which we will call dead waves.

In this scale, two parameters are considered: the height and the length of the wave. Height is considered low if it is less than 2 metresmoderate up to 4 meters, high if higher. The length is considered short if it is less than 100 metersdiameter up to 200 meters, long, if higher i 200 meters.

It is for this reason that the so-called Douglas scale cannot be consistent with this type of sea.

About observations

Therefore, a swelling scale is used. Also, keep in mind that these observations are only valid if they are done in the open sea, on the deep seabed, away from shoals or any shallow waters.

A wavy road.
Wave height measured near the coast or beach is always 1/3 of the height observed at sea.

This is because the wave height measured near the coast or beach is always 1/3 of the height observed at sea.

When these parameters are not measurable, we speak of a confused wave, where ridges and cables of indeterminate measurement collide with each other and generate a series of irregular oscillations, such as those seen at rocky coasts or in areas where there is a seabed and any shoals.



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