Wave Heights From a 3m Discus Buoy During Hurricane Katrina

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Ocean Science and Engineering


In August 2005 the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed 49 nm to the west of a 3-m discus buoy (USM3m01), in 20 m water depth, operated by the Central Gulf of Mexico Ocean Observing System (CenGOOS). Buoy wave heights were measured with an onboard 6-axis accelerometer and from the displacement of a GPS antenna as measured by Real-Time-Kinematic (RTK) GPS. The computed wave heights are compared to the nearby NDBC 42007 buoy and show reasonable agreement for wave heights less than 2-3 m. At higher wave heights there is a potential bias in the wave heights if the buoy's heel is not accounted for. This is believed to be the result of swell in shallow water, a heel in the buoy caused by wind and currents, and the failure to tilt-correct the accelerometer data.

Publication Title