Dominant Wave Period

  • Dominant or peak wave period, depicted as DPD on the NDBC web site (Table 1, below), is the period corresponding to the frequency band with the maximum value of spectral density (wave energy) in the nondirectional wave spectrum.   In other words, the dominant wave period represents the most energetic wave in the spectrum.
  • Note:  Ignore APD (average period) as there is no such wave in the real world!
  • Examination of Plot of wave energy versus frequency (and period) from buoys (Figure 1) will depict the most energetic wave. 
  • Generally waves can be broken down into:
      • local wind wave -- generally 3 to 6 second period
      • fresh swell (wave generation region just upstream)--generally 7 to 10 second period
      • pure swell (wave generation region well upstream) -- generally greater than 10 second period
      • A typical sea state will have all different wave types.
      • In Figure 1, all three wave types are depicted.
      • The Detailed Wave Summary from NDBC (Table 2) depicts the swell period (in this case a pure swell) and also the wind wave period.


Buoy Conditions

 

MM

DD

TIME
(
EDT)

  

WDIR

WSPD
kts

GST
kts

WVHT
ft

DPD
sec

APD
sec

PRES
in

PTDY
in

ATMP
°F

WTMP
°F

DEWP
°F

10

10

10:20 am

  

SSW

11.7

13.6

2.6

12

4.0

30.08

-

83.5

84.7

74.7

10

10

9:50 am

  

SSW

13.6

15.5

2.6

12

4.1

30.08

+0.04

83.7

84.7

73.8

10

10

9:20 am

  

SSW

11.7

15.5

3.0

12

4.3

30.07

-

83.5

84.7

75.0

10

10

8:50 am

  

SSW

11.7

13.6

2.6

12

3.9

30.07

+0.05

83.5

84.7

74.5

10

10

8:20 am

  

SSW

13.6

15.5

3.3

13

4.4

30.07

-

83.3

84.7

74.8

10

10

7:50 am

  

SSW

13.6

15.5

3.3

13

4.5

30.06

+0.04

83.5

84.7

74.8

10

10

7:20 am

  

SSW

13.6

15.5

3.0

13

4.0

30.05

-

83.7

84.7

74.5


Table 1.  National Data Buoy Center table of data for buoy 41009 on 10/10/09.


 


Figure 1.  National Data Buoy Center plot of wave energy versus frequency and period for buoy 41009 on 10/10/09.


 

  Detailed Wave Summary

MM

DD

TIME
(
EDT)

  

WVHT
ft

  

SwH
ft

  

SwP
sec

  

SwD

WWH
ft

WWP
sec

  

WWD

STEEPNESS

APD
sec

10

10

10:30 am

  

2.6

  

1.6

  

12.1

  

N/A

2.0

3.7

  

N/A

N/A

4.0

10

10

10:00 am

  

2.6

  

1.6

  

12.1

  

N/A

2.0

3.6

  

N/A

AVERAGE

4.1

10

10

9:30 am

  

3.0

  

2.0

  

12.1

  

N/A

2.3

3.7

  

N/A

AVERAGE

4.3

10

10

9:00 am

  

2.6

  

1.6

  

12.1

  

N/A

2.3

3.7

  

N/A

AVERAGE

3.9

10

10

8:30 am

  

3.3

  

2.0

  

12.9

  

N/A

2.3

3.6

  

N/A

AVERAGE

4.4

10

10

8:00 am

  

3.3

  

2.3

  

12.9

  

N/A

2.3

3.8

  

N/A

SWELL

4.5

10

10

7:30 am

  

3.0

  

1.6

  

12.9

  

N/A

2.6

4.0

  

N/A

AVERAGE

4.0

10

10

7:00 am

  

3.0

  

1.6

  

12.1

  

N/A

2.3

3.7

  

N/A

AVERAGE

4.1

Table 2.  National Data Buoy Center Detailed Wave Summary for buoy 41009 on 10/10/09.

 

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.