National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2015

Biofouling effects on the response of a wave measurement buoy in deep water

Thomson, J., J. Talbert, A. de Klerk, A. Brown, M. Schwendeman, J. Goldsmith, J. Thomas, C. Olfe, G. Cameron, and C. Meinig

J. Atmos. Oceanic Tech., 32(6), 1281–1286, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0029.1 (2015)

The effects of biofouling on a wave measurement buoy are examined using concurrent data collected with two Datawell Waveriders at Ocean Station P: one heavily biofouled at the end of a 26 month deployment, the other newly deployed and clean. The effects are limited to the high frequency response of the buoy and are correctly diagnosed with the spectral ‘check factors’ that compare horizontal and vertical displacements. A simple prediction for the progressive change in frequency response during biofouling reproduces the check factors over time. The bulk statistical parameters of significant wave height, peak period, average period, and peak direction are only slightly affected by the biofouling, because the contaminated frequencies have very low energy throughout the comparison data set.

Feature Publications | Outstanding Scientific Publications

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