The wave environment in the Barents Sea is presented in this paper using wave hindcast data for a period of 57 years for one location. It was found that swell is dominant at this location most of the time in the winter season, and that swell contributes significantly to the wave environment at the location in the summer season. This study shows that a double peak spectrum may be more suitable to characterize most operational sea states in the Barents Sea. An illustration is shown on how the suitable wave spectrum is used in short-term analysis of a vessel response.


For design purposes, the wave environment may be described by a deterministic design wave method or a stochastic design wave method, depending on the type of response problem under consideration. However, for weather restricted marine operations, the wave environment should be described by the stochastic design wave method (DNV, 2011). More generally, the stochastic design wave method is suitable for linear response problems, for instance, for estimating the wave frequency responses of vessels or floating platforms. For linear response problems, the analysis can be conveniently carried out in the frequency domain. Such an analysis requires a suitable wave spectrum, and a transfer function describing the response properties of the vessel or floating platform.

The measured wave spectrum at a location represents a description of the distribution of wave energy among different wave frequencies of wavelengths for a sea state, and is seldom available. One is therefore often left with the choice of selecting among the available theoretical wave spectrum models. The commonly used wave spectra on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) are the Pierson-Moskowitz (PM) spectrum, the JONSWAP spectrum, and the Torsethaugen spectrum.

This paper gives the description of the wave environment in the Barents Sea, using wave hindcast data from the Norwegian Reanalysis 10 km (NORA10) database. NORA10 is a combined high-resolution atmospheric downscaling and wave hindcast based on the European Reanalysis dataset (ERA-40) (Reistad et al., 2011). NORA10 produces 3-hourly wave fields at a resolution of 10 km. The NORA10 database used in this study covers a period of 57 years (September 1957 - June 2014), and comprises 166053 number of wave data. The study considered wave hindcast data from only one location, and the coordinates of the location are 72.02°N 22.10°E, a map showing the location is presented in Fig. 1.

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