Offshore stereo measurements of gravity waves
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Stereo video techniques are effective for estimating the space-time wave dynamics over an area of the ocean. Indeed, a stereo camera view allows retrieval of both spatial and temporal data whose statistical content is richer than that of time series data retrieved from point wave probes. To prove this, we consider an application of the Wave Acquisition Stereo System (WASS) for the analysis of offshore video measurements of gravity waves in the Northern Adriatic Sea. In particular, we deployed WASS at the oceanographic platform Acqua Alta, off the Venice coast, Italy. Three experimental studies were performed, and the overlapping field of view of the acquired stereo images covered an area of approximately 1100 m². Analysis of the WASS measurements show that the sea surface can be accurately estimated in space and time together, yielding associated directional spectra and wave statistics that agree well with theoretical models. From the observed wavenumber-frequency spectrum one can also predict the vertical profile of the current flow underneath the wave surface. Finally, future improvements of WASS and applications are discussed.