The local equilibrium between the wind and wind waves, which is defined by a range of the coefficient of the 3/2-power law between the non-dimensional significant wave height and period, is statistically investigated by using wind and wave data obtained at four ocean data buoy stations in the seas near Japan. The friction velocity is calculated from the wind speed measured at one height together with the significant wave period by using formulas of the wave dependent drag coefficient proposed by Toba et al. (1990). The data for small waves or for weak winds indicate that the waves do not satisfy the criterion for the local equilibrium, because they may be affected by changing winds or remotely generated swells. In the seas near Japan, the data which satisfy the local equilibrium are about 6% through a year. Otherwise swells are dominant in most situations. Changing winds also cause deviations from the local equilibrium. The degree of satisfaction of the local equilibrium can be classified by ranges of the significant wave height. As the significant wave height exceeds 4 m, the local equilibrium is more frequently satisfied.
ASJC Scopus subject areas