The University of Western Australia (UWA) has deployed several surface wave buoys at locations around the Western Australian coastline to complement the existing observations collected by WA Department of Transport. Accurate observations of surface waves are required to study and improve our understanding of the nearshore wave climate and coastal processes, as well as for investigations of wave propagation and transformation. The wave buoy observations are also important for validating numerical wave models.

Currently, we have a number of moored and drifting wave buoys deployed, with expansion of the network of buoys expected soon. The Torbay (just west o Albany) wave buoy is part of the “Oceanography” research program of the WA Government funded Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC) and provides data for research into the Albany regional wave climate, as well as characterising the wave energy resource.

This website has been designed to display the real-time data collected by these surface wave buoys and also to allow download of all archived data.

Instrumentation and Data Analysis

Surface wave buoys calculate wave parameters (e.g. significant wave height, peak period, peak direction) from the time series of the sea surface displacements (as measured by an accelerometer and/or GPS) in three dimensions (x, y, z). We currently have deployed two different surface wave buoy models – the Datawell Directional Waverider 4 (Torbay) and the Sofar Spotter.

Both buoys record and transmit data in real-time via the global Iridium network (i.e. satellite internet) or local 4G networks. Bulk wave parameters including significant wave height (Hs), peak period (Tp), and peak direction (Dp) are calculated on-board the buoy following standard spectral analysis techniques and transmitted to our servers at UWA. The two-dimensional spectrum for each time point is calculated from the output data using the maximum entropy estimation method  (Lygre and Krogstad, 1986).

Usage and Data Acquisition

You are welcome to download data as text  files from the buoy-specific pages. Options of available data include: time series of bulk wave parameters (wave height, period, direction, directional spreading) and one- or two-dimensional spectrum for every recorded time point (presently the spectral data is only available for Torbay due to data transmission cost). For other data requests, please contact us https://wawaves.org/contact.

The data are freely available under a Creative Commons Non-commercial License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/au/, by acknowledgement of the University of Western Australia. For commercial use, please contact us https://wawaves.org/contact .

We value your feedback: please let us know how you are using this wave data and if you have suggestions on how we can improve things.


This work is supported by: