Processing of wave data from pressure sensors


This set of routines processes data from pressure sensors to compensate the attenuation of pressure variations with depth and compute the standard (non-directional) wave parameters. These are Matlab routines, that means Matlab must be installed in order to use them.

wavesp.m computes the spectral wave-parameters after correction of the pressure attenuation. If pr_corr.m and zero_crossing.m are on the matlab-path, the zero-crossing wave-parameters are also returned.
pr_corr.m returns the attenuation-corrected water surface. It is called by wavesp.m for the zero-crossing wave-parameters.
zero_crossing.m computes the zero-crossing wave-parameters. It is called by wavesp.m.

Full help how to use is included in the comments at the beginning of each routine.

– I have written these routines with care and I use them myself for my research. However, I cannot give any  guarantee for the accuracy of their results.


To download the 3 routines in a zip-file, use following link (9 kB)
To download separately the 3 routines, right-click on the following links and select "Save target as..."
wavesp.m (version 1.11, 9 kB)
pr_corr.m (version 1.09, 8 kB)
zero_crossing.m (version 1.06, 6 kB)

Detailed description
Examples of usage


wavesp(data,0.5,4) simple use, with sensor 0.5 m above bed and sampling frequency 4 Hz
wavesp(data,0.5,4,[0.05 0.45]) with pressure correction over the frequency range 0.05-0.45 Hz
wavesp(data,0.5,4,'az') returning all spectral parameters and the zero-crossing parameters
divide data in segments of 1/2 instead of 1/4
[parameters,names]=wavesp(...) returning parameters (row array) and their names
[parameters,names,spectrum]=wavesp(...) returning also the wave spectrum
surface=pr_corr(data,2.6,4,0.5) simple use, with mean water depth 2.6 m, sampling frequency 4 Hz and sensor 0.5 above bed
surface=pr_corr(data,[],4,0.5) with undetrended data (sea-surface above bottom)
surface=pr_corr(data,2.6,4,0.5,[],[0.05 0.45])
with pressure correction over the frequency range 0.05-0.45 Hz
correction=pr_corr([],2.6,4,0.5) return the correction factor used to compensate the depth attenuation.

 Wave parameters computed by wavesp and zero_crossing

spectral wave-parameters

m0 Total variance
Wave energy = water-density · g · m0

Hm0 significant wave height by spectral method

Tp Peak period

T01 average period m0/m1

T02 average period (m0/m2)^0.5

Tpc calculated peak period

EPS2 spectral width parameter

EPS4 spectral width parameter

zero-crossing wave-parameters

Hs Significant wave height

Hmean mean wave height

H1/10 height of highest 10%

Hmax maximum wave height

Tmean mean wave period

Tsignificant mean period of highest 33%


Tucker M.J. & Pitt E.G. (2001) Waves in ocean engineering. Elsevier ocean engineering book series vol. 5, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 521 p.

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