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Hydrodynamic Data from Radar Observations


For a proper determination of hydraulic boundary conditions it is paramount that wave, current, water level and bathymetry measurements are available. On one hand, observations improve the formulations,  models and the understanding of flow and waves, on the other hand observations are required in the statistical determination of extreme values. Besides, measurements are required in the design of offshore and coastal structures and in operational forecasts used, for instance, in safe navigation, flood forecasting and ship routing.


In contrast to the scarce point information obtained from conventional in-situ measurements, ordinary land based marine radars have the potential to provide spatial wave, current and depth information. Dedicated SeaDarQ software processes the radar data and derives spatial information on waves, water depths and currents over a significant area.


As almost every harbour, also the Ameland lighthouse in the north of the Netherlandsis equipped with an X-band marine radar, covering an area of approximately 50 km2. Since the beginning of 2010, SeaDarQ software is deployed on this radar system.


A SWAN hindcast was performed in the Amelander tidal inlet area, for which both radar data and buoy measurements are available. Comparison of SWAN results with the spatial wave fields processed from the radar observations has given valuable insight.


In addition to the Ameland site the SeaDarQ software has also been installed at the marine radar site nearHoek van Holland, producing current information in real-time, which is helpful for the ship navigation in that area.


In this paper attention is given to the comparison of spatial radar observations with the spatial simulations produced by spectral wave models and hydrodynamic water movement models.


In the near future our effort will be focused on improving the use and accuracy of the hydrodynamic radar observations.