WAVEWATCH III® (Tolman 1997, 1999a, 2009) is a third generation wave model developed at NOAA/NCEP in the spirit of the WAM model (WAMDIG 1988, Komen et al. 1994). It is a further development of the model WAVEWATCH, as developed at Delft University of Technology (Tolman 1989, 1991a) and WAVEWATCH II, developed at NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center (e.g., Tolman 1992). WAVEWATCH III®, however, differs from its predecessors in many important points such as the governing equations, the model structure, the numerical methods and the physical parameterizations. Furthermore, with model version 3.14, WAVEWATCH III® is evolving from a wave model into a wave modeling framework, which allows for easy development of additional physical and numerical approaches to wave modeling.
WAVEWATCH III® solves the random phase spectral action density balance equation for wavenumber-direction spectra. The implicit assumption of this equation is that properties of medium (water depth and current) as well as the wave field itself vary on time and space scales that are much larger than the variation scales of a single wave. With version 3.14 some source term options for extremely shallow water (surf zone) have been included, as well as wetting and drying of grid points. Whereas the surf-zone physics implemented so far are still fairly rudimentary, it does imply that the wave model can now be applied to arbitrary shallow water.
WAVEWATCH III® © 2009 National Weather Service (NWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, all rights reserved. WAVEWATCH III® is a registered trademark of the National Weather Service.