Metocean studies involve a lot of statistical analyses in the fields of data validation, determination of normal and extreme metocean conditions and data transformation. All these analyses can be performed in different ways. Deltares' best practice guidelines to execute metocean studies in an efficient and standardized way are summarized.


The design of marine structures, such as offshore structures, wind parks, coastal structures, etc, generally starts with a metocean study in which the mean, operational and extreme environmental conditions that the structures will have to withstand are determined. On the other hand, most of the studies involve data validation, determination of normal and extreme metocean conditions and offshore to nearshore transformations of data. Deltares often carries out metocean studies for a varied spectrum of clients such as project developers, governments, local businesses, contractors, oil and gas producers, etc. The involvement of the clients in the various technical aspects of the metocean study varies greatly depending on their in-house expertise. Given that several of the statistical analyses involved in a metocean study can be performed in different ways, of which some are based on ‘pragmatic’ and nontheoretically sound approaches, it was found necessary to create guidelines in which the execution of metocean studies is standardized. These guidelines focus on the following four aspects:

  1. data validation,

  2. normal conditions,

  3. extreme conditions, and

  4. sea state analysis. In parallel with the guidelines, Deltares has also developed a MATLAB tool, ORCA, which integrates the main aspects of the analysis of metocean data and with which the metocean study analyses can be carried out in accordance with the guidelines. These guidelines aim at making the execution of metocean studies more efficient and, more importantly, to improve the accuracy and verifiability of the results.

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