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The global ocean WAve Model (WAM) is a third generation wave prediction model. WAM predicts directional spectra as well as wave properties such as significant wave height, mean wave direction and frequency, swell wave height and mean direction, and wind stress fields corrected by including the wave induced stress and the drag coefficient at each grid point at chosen output times.

The model is continually updated to incorporate the latest results of research. The verification has been carried out in three areas National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) moored buoys are available on the global Telecommunications System (GTS). It is hoped that the buoys chosen will allow the identification of both successes and failures in WAM model physics and will minimize shortcomings due to sub-grid scale effect.

The WAM model can be added to a paid edition of SMS.


The present version of WAM makes the following assumptions:

  • Time dependent wave action balance equation.
  • Wave growth based on sea surface roughness and wind characteristics.
  • Nonlinear wave and wave interaction by Discrete Interaction Approximation (DIA).
  • Free form of spectral shape.
  • High dissipation rate to short waves.

Graphical Interface

The WAM graphical interface contains tools to create and edit a WAM simulation. The simulation consists of a geometric definition of the model domain (the grid) and a set of numerical parameters. The parameters define the boundary conditions and options pertinent to the model.

The interface is accessed by selecting the Cartesian Grid module and setting the current model to WAM. If a grid has already been created for a WAM simulation or an existing simulation read, the grid object will exist in the Project Explorer and selecting that object will make the Cartesian Grid module active and set the model to WAM. See Creating 2D Cartesian Grids for more information.

The interface consists of the Cartesian Grid module menus and tools augmented by the WAM Menu. See WAM Graphical Interface for more information.

External Links

Additional Reading