Wind waves in the Black Sea: results of a hindcast study
In this study we describe the wind wave fields in the Black Sea. The general aims of the work were the estimation of statistical wave parameters and the assessment of interannual and seasonal wave parameter variability. The domain of this study was the entire Black Sea. Wave parameters were calculated by means of the SWAN wave model on a 5 × 5 km rectangular grid. Initial conditions (wind speed and direction) for the period between 1949 and 2010 were derived from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis. According to our calculations the average significant wave height on the Black Sea does not exceed 0.7 m. Areas of most significant heavy sea are the southwestern and the northeastern parts of the sea as expressed in the spatial distribution of significant wave heights, wave lengths and periods. Besides, long-term annual variations of wave parameters were estimated. Thus, linear trends of the annual total duration of storms and of their quantity are nearly stable over the hindcast period. However, an intensification of storm activity is observed in the 1960s–1970s.