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Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 58, pp.

109 to 120, 2002

Review

A Historical Note on the Study of Ocean Surface Waves


HISASHI MITSUYASU*
Professor Emeritus of Kyushu University, 4-16-12 Miwadai, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 811-0212, Japan (Received 2 April 2001; in revised form 25 July 2001; accepted 27 July 2001)

The modern study of ocean surface waves started with a pioneer study by Sverdrup and Munk (1947). More than half a century has passed since then and the study of ocean surface waves has greatly advanced. The current numerical wave models, supported by many fundamental studies, enable us to compute ocean surface waves on a global scale with sufficient accuracy for practical purposes. However, physical process controlling the energy balance of ocean surface waves is still not completely understood. The present note is a rough sketch of the historical development of the study of ocean surface waves in the latter half of the twentieth century when the Oceanographic Society of Japan was founded and grew.

Keywords: History, ocean surface waves.

1. Introduction The wind blowing over the sea surface generates wind waves. They develop with time and space under the action of the wind and become huge waves called ocean surface waves. According to our present knowledge this process can be described as follows: the wind blowing over the water surface generates tiny wavelets which have a two-dimensional spectral structure. The spectral components develop with time and through space by absorbing the energy transferred from the wind. Nonlinear energy transfer among spectral components is also important in the development of the spectrum. The high frequency components then gradually saturate, losing the absorbed energy as the waves break, while the low frequency components are still growing. In this way, the spectral energy increases and the spectral peak shifts to the low frequency side. It took a very long time to arrive at such a dynamical model of ocean surface waves. The present note on the development of investigation focuses mainly on how we reached our present understanding of the ocean surface waves. In early days, the major difficulties in the study of ocean surface waves were their random properties and the complex mechanisms of their evolution. These properties of ocean surface waves are quite different from those of regular water waves and due to this difference the fundamental studies of ocean surface waves were
* E-mail address: mituyasu@hf.rim.or.jp
Copyright The Oceanographic Society of Japan.

much delayed. By contrast, studies of water waves with regular and permanent forms as a fluid dynamical phenomenon have a long history. Their fundamental studies were successfully developed in 19th century even for the advanced mathematical formulations. Modern studies of ocean surface waves started only in the 1940s with the outstanding study by Sverdrup and Munk (1947) of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). The most important points of their study can be summarized as follows; 1) Significant waves are characterized by a kind of mean wave height and mean wave period. These were first introduced to describe quantitatively ocean surface waves that show random properties. 2) The concept of energy balance in a wave system was introduced to understand the wave evolution. 3) Empirical relations for the evolution of ocean surface waves in dimensionless forms were obtained by using accumulated wave data. The important quantities controlling the phenomenon were included in the relations. Although these are common knowledge today, it is really surprising that such ideas were proposed when the similar ideas or studies were almost non-existent, except for primitive and purely empirical formulas. Since their study, modern studies of ocean surface waves were developed, and many fundamental properties and dynamic processes of ocean surface waves have been clarified. This paper is devoted to a brief history of modern developments in the study of ocean surface waves. This is not a detailed history, however, but one that describes

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a general picture of modern developments. Therefore only a limited number of papers are referred to, which are needed to advance the story. Furthermore, emphasis in the discussion is put rather on early periods in the study, because a detailed discussion on the modern development of the study would become far too large for adequate treatment in this short note. 2. Modern Development in the Study of Ocean Surface Waves The study of ocean surface waves extends to a great many areas. Table 1 has been prepared to give a general view of the study and its historical development. The problem areas related to the study of ocean surface waves have been divided into six topics: 1) generation mechanism (of wind waves) including the generation of initial wavelets and energy transfer from the wind to waves; 2) statistical properties (of wind waves) including the wave spectrum; 3) nonlinear properties (of wind waves) including the nonlinear interactions among spectral components, wave instability and wave breaking; 4) laboratory and ocean experiments; 5) air-sea and wave project and 6) wave forecasting (methods). The decadal change of each topic together with epoch-making international symposia, and relevant scientific and technological progress in each decade, are summarized in the Table. Earth observing satellites and international symposia are listed in the appendix, which also includes typical monographs and extended reviews of ocean surface waves. The historical developments in the study of ocean surface waves can be described referring to Table 1. 2.1 Generation mechanism of wind waves The wind over the sea surface generates wind waves (ocean surface waves). Therefore, the mechanisms of wind wave generation and energy transfer from the wind to the waves are essential problems in the study of ocean surface waves. Although it does not appear in Table 1, Jeffreys (1924, 1925) presented an outstanding theory (sheltering theory) before the start of the advanced study in the 1940s. He considered that if the wind velocity is faster than the wave velocity, the air flow over the wave separates at the wave crest and transfers the momentum to surface waves through the form drag associated with flow separation. Furthermore, based on a consideration of simple energy balance in the process of wave generation, he estimated the sheltering coefficient that can be used to calculate the growth of waves due to the wind. In order to verify the Jeffreyss sheltering mechanism, fluid dynamicists carried out laboratory experiments; Stanton et al. (1932) and Motzfeld (1937) did similar laboratory experiments independently on the air flow over a solid wavy surface. Unfortunately, the measured

sheltering coefficients were much smaller than expected from Jeffreyss investigation. However, the experiment for waves with sharp crest by Motzfeld (1937) clearly demonstrated the separation of the air flow at the crest and an increase of the sheltering coefficient, although the value was still smaller than expected from Jeffreyss investigation. As a result of these experiments, the contribution of the sheltering mechanism to wind wave generation came to be questioned. However, further studies were needed to clarify the contribution of the separation of air flow to the growth of wind waves. Because many assumptions were made in Jeffreyss theory, and the experiments mentioned above were implemented by using a solid wavy surface. Moreover, recent observations of air flow over steep water waves have revealed the separation of air flow (Banner and Melville, 1976; Kawai, 1982). In the 1940s there were not many studies on the wave generation mechanism, except for a theoretical study by Wuest (1949) who did a stability analysis of the air-sea interface, and an experimental study by Francis (1949) who presented a careful observation of wind-wave generation in a wave tank. In the 1950s Ursell (1956), who was engaged in the wartime study of ocean waves in the UK in the 1940s, presented an extensive review of the wind wave generation study. He summarized the available experimental and theoretical studies and concentrated all his energy on the discussion of the results of these studies. He concluded that neither mechanism was likely to play a dominant role in wave generation. Stimulated by the review of Ursell (1956), two epoch-making theories were presented simultaneously by Phillips (1957) and Miles (1957). Phillips (1957) proposed that random pressure fluctuation in the wind resonantly generates wind waves on the water surface. However, later laboratory experiments indicated that the pressure fluctuations in the turbulent wind are much smaller than that estimated by Phillips (1957) and the theory could not explain the growth rate of wind waves, though it is still responsible for the generation of initial wind waves. On the other hand, Miles theory is a kind of stability theory that inherits the thoughts of Wuest (1949) and Lock (1954) but applies a more realistic (logarithmic) wind profile. Miles (1957) showed that the coupling between the surface waves and wind generates a special pressure distribution along the wave surface and leads to an exponential growth of the waves. In the 1960s Miles (1960) combined the two theories of Phillips (1957) and Miles (1957) and showed that the growth of waves is initially linear but ultimately exponential in time. The field measurement by LonguetHiggins et al. (1963), and laboratory measurement by Shemdin and Hsu (1967) partly supported the results of Miles (1957), and Lighthill (1962) gave a physical inter-

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Table 1. Advances in the study of ocean surface waves in the latter half of the twentieth century.

A Historical Note on the Study of Ocean Surface Waves

List of acronyms in Table 1. OSJ: The Oceanographic Society of Japan (founded in 1941). SWOP: Stereo Wave Observation Project; see Cote et al. (1960). SMB: Sverdrup, Munk and Bretschneider; see Sverdrup and Munk (1947) and Bretschneider (1952). PNJ: Pierson, Neumann and James; see Pierson et al. (1955). ICCE: International Conference on Coastal Engineering (started from 1950). WAM: Wave Model; see The WAMDI Group (1988). JONSWAP: Joint North Sea Wave Project; see Hasselmann et al. (1973). JWA3G: Japan Weather Associations Third Generation Wave Model; see Suzuki and Isozaki (1994). ARSLOE: Atlantic Remote Sensing Land Ocean Experiment; see Vincent and Lichy (1981). RIAM Project: Wave Observation Project; see Mitsuyasu et al. (1975). SWADE: The Surface Waves Dynamics Experiment; see Katsaros et al. (1993). HEXOS: Humidity EXchange Over the Sea; see Smith et al. (1992). RASEX: Ris Air-Sea Exchange; see Johnson et al. (1998). SOWEX: Southern Ocean Waves Experiment; see Banner et al. (1999).

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pretation of the Miles (1957) theory. By these results, the problem of wind wave generation was considered to be solved. However, the field observations by Snyder and Cox (1966), and by Barnett and Wilkerson (1967) showed that the measured growth rates of a spectral component of ocean surface waves were one order of magnitude greater than those expected by Miles. Many theoretical studies started again in the 1970s to explain the mechanism of wave generation. One direction is to improve the Miles (1957) theory by introducing the effects of turbulence in the wind (e.g., Townsend, 1972; Davis, 1972; Gent and Taylor, 1976). The studies along this line were continued until the 1980s (e.g., AlZanaidi and Hui, 1984) and also 1990s (e.g., Belcher and Hunt, 1993; Miles, 1993). However, we are still not in a position to completely understand the mechanism, while some of the numerical calculations (e.g., AlZanaidi and Hui, 1984; Miles, 1993) gave fairly good agreement between the theory and experiments. Another direction was to measure the growth rate of wind waves as accurately as possible, because the growth rates measured by Snyder and Cox (1966), and Barnett and Wilkerson (1967) were considered, according to our current knowledge, as overestimates due to the effect of nonlinear energy transfer. Many field and laboratory measurements were carried out to obtain more reasonable values, unaffected by nonlinear energy transfer (Snyder et al., 1981; Mitsuyasu and Honda, 1982; Hsiao and Shemdin, 1983). Plant (1982) proposed an empirical formula for the growth rate of wind waves by combining the observed values of various reliable sources. The measured values are used in the current numerical wave models, but the scatter in the measured growth rate is considerable and the problem still remains unsolved. One of the most difficult problems is that accurate measurements of the detailed phenomena near the wind wave surface are extremely difficult. This has hampered the derivation of more realistic theoretical models. Therefore, well-focused experiments using advanced measuring techniques are strongly needed to clarify the phenomena near the air-sea interface that will provide a breakthrough to clarify the phenomena. The above discussions are mainly concerned with the growth mechanism of wind waves under the action of the wind. In regard to the generation of initial wind waves over a still water surface there are several interesting subjects to study. When the wind starts to blow over the waters surface, a drift current is generated and, a little later, a tiny capillary wave is generated which develops gradually into wind waves. Kunishi (1963) conducted a comprehensive laboratory experiment on this problem to shed light on the phenomena. About twenty years later Kawai (1979) performed both experimental and theoretical studies on this subject examining a coupled shear flow model

in the air and water to clarify the generation of the initial wind wave. He obtained fairly good agreement between the theory and his measurements. Okuda et al. (1976) made detailed observations of the wind-induced surface flow in the water by using flow visualization techniques, before and after the generation of wind waves. They found an interesting relation between a transition of the surface flow from laminar to turbulent and the generation of wind waves. The generation of initial wind waves can also be treated by the resonance theory of Phillips (1957). Kahma and Donelan (1988) studied experimentally an initial stage of wind wave generation, but their results were not necessarily conclusive for the contributions of the two mechanisms of Kawai (1979) and Phillips (1957). Further studies are required to clarify the problem. 2.2 Statistical properties of wind waves Ocean surface waves are water surface waves, as the name indicates. However, they display random properties that obstructed our clear understanding of the phenomena in the early days. It is said that Lord Rayleigh remarked, The basic law of the seaway is the apparent lack of any law (Kinsman, 1965). Sverdrup and Munk (1947) introduced their significant waves, a kind of statistical mean wave, to describe random properties of ocean surface waves. Statistical theory of wind waves was greatly advanced since then based on the theory of random process, in particular on the theory of random noise that was presented by Rice (1944) of Bell Telephone Laboratory. Following the random noise theory, as the first approximation, random waves are considered as a sum of an infinite number of sinusoidal waves in a random phase. In the 1950s, based on the statistical model above mentioned, Longuet-Higgins (1952) gave the first theoretical derivation of the statistical distribution of waveheights. Cartwright and Longuet-Higgins (1956) in the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) of the United Kingdom derived the statistical distributions of the maximum values of the random function. The statistical theory of ocean surface waves was greatly extended by the group in the NIO and effectively applied to the analysis of accumulated wave data in the 1950s. On the other hand in the United States, Pierson (1953) of the New York University (NYU) presented a spectral model of wind waves that was also greatly affected by the theory of random noise. Neumann (1953), also of NYU, determined a spectral form of developing ocean surface waves by using his observed wave data. By combining the results of their studies, the NYU group presented the famous paper entitled: Practical methods for observing and forecasting ocean waves by means of wave spectra and statistics (Pierson et al., 1955). As for the physics of the wave spectrum, Phillips (1958) proposed the equilibrium range in the spectrum

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of wind waves based on a simple consideration of wave breaking. The spectral model, which was basically supported by the newly developed random process theory and various observations including the pioneering study by NIO, contributed remarkably to advance the study of ocean surface waves. With the increase of spectral data in the 1960s many oceanographers tried to determine a similarity form of the spectrum of ocean surface waves. The most successful result was obtained by Pierson and Moskowitz (1964). They proposed a famous spectral form (PM spectrum) for fully developed wind seas by using wave spectral data obtained in the North Atlantic Ocean. Their study was based on the similarity theory of wind wave spectrum presented by Kitaigorodskii (1962) which was quite analogous to the similarity theory of turbulence developed traditionally in the USSR. From the end of the 1960s to the 1970s a great many experimental studies were done to clarify the wind wave spectrum. As a result of those extensive studies we clarified many important properties of the wind wave spectrum, such as the evolution of the spectrum (Mitsuyasu, 1968b, 1969; Hasselmann et al., 1973), the spectral form at a finite fetch (Hasselmann et al., 1973), the similarity form of the directional spectrum (Mitsuyasu et al., 1975; Hasselmann et al., 1980; Donelan et al., 1985). On the other hand, Toba (1972, 1973a, 1973b) presented an important concept of the local equilibrium between winds and wind-generated waves which means the wind waves retain their internal self-similar structure when they develop. An important 3/2 power law for wind waves was included in it. Toba (1973b) also derived a new equilibrium form of the wave spectrum that was supported by Kawai et al. (1977) and has a form different from that of Phillips (1958). Owing to the increased data supporting the Tobas new spectral form, Phillips (1985) presented a new theory that supported the new equilibrium form of Toba (1973b). The statistical nature of ocean surface waves again drew attention in the 1970s and 1980s. Longuet-Higgins (1975, 1983) studied the joint distribution of the period and amplitude of random waves which is important for practical purposes. After the launch of the SESAT satellite in 1978, studies of ocean wave spectra focused on the high-frequency part of the wave spectrum to analyze the data of microwave sensors such as a scatterometer and an altimeter. As the results of many experimental studies during a period from the 1970s to the 1990s, we clarified the winddependence of the high frequency wave spectrum (e.g., Mitsuyasu and Honda, 1974; Mitsuyasu, 1977) and the high wave-number spectrum (e.g., Jhne and Riemer, 1990; Zhang, 1995), which contributed to the analysis of the data of the scatterometer. The high frequency waves

also attracted attention as a roughness element of the sea surface. Many studies on this subject were carried out, clarifying the fine structure of high frequency waves (Cox and Munk, 1954; Cox, 1958; Kondo et al., 1973), though the contribution of the high frequency waves to the sea surface roughness was still unclear and controversial. 2.3 Nonlinear properties of wind waves Ocean surface waves can be described fairly well by linear theory as described in Subsection 2.2. This is one of the reasons why the spectral model can be very effectively used to describe the random ocean surface waves. However, waves gradually show nonlinear properties with the increase of wave steepness (wave height/wave length), e.g., distortion of the wave form, nonlinear interaction among spectral components, wave instability and final wave breaking. In the 1940s, studies on nonlinear waves were still conducted along lines extending back to the study in 19th century and mainly confined to the study of regular monochromatic nonlinear waves. The nonlinear theory of regular waves (solitary wave theory) was applied even to ocean surface waves (e.g., Munk, 1949). This is because ocean surface waves were described, in many cases, by using significant waves, that is, a kind of mean wave with a monochromatic wave property. It was only at the end of the 1950s that Tick (1959) presented a nonlinear random model of gravity waves. The nonlinear theory of ocean surface waves was greatly advanced in the 1960s. Phillips (1960) and Hasselmann (1960, 1962, 1963) almost simultaneously found the nonlinear energy transfer among wave spectral components which is caused by resonant four-wave interactions. These are remarkable results, because the evolution of the wave spectrum is strongly affected by this mechanism. Longuet-Higgins and Smith (1966), and McGoldrick et al. (1966) experimentally confirmed the resonant four-wave interactions and Mitsuyasu (1968a) also experimentally confirmed the evolution of the continuous wave spectrum due to this effect. Although the nonlinear energy transfer plays an important role in the evolution of the wave spectrum, the problem is its computational difficulty. Many studies attempted to solve the problem. Longuet-Higgins (1976) and Fox (1976) derived a nonlinear interaction model that was more easily computable. However, their results were found to be unsuitable for the description of actual phenomena, because the model holds in principle only for an extremely narrow spectrum, and observed results show considerable disagreement with Foxs calculations (Masuda, 1980). Masuda (1980) studied a new computational scheme of nonlinear energy transfer based on Hasselmanns model and much improved the numerical stability and computational accuracy. Hashimoto et al. (1998) extended the

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computational scheme of Masuda (1980) for deep-water waves to one for shallow water waves. Komatsu and Masuda (1996) developed a more efficient computational scheme of nonlinear energy transfer, but the computational time is still not suitable for practical application to operational wave models. Since the exact computation of the nonlinear energy transfer takes too much time and is impractical for application to operational wave forecasting, most of the present operational wave models use greatly simplified computational schemes of nonlinear energy transfer (Hasselmann and Hasselmann, 1985; Hasselmann et al., 1985; Suzuki, 1995). The problem still remains, however, because the accuracy of the simplified computational schemes depends on the forms of the wave spectra. In this connection Hashimoto et al. (1999) improved the accuracy of the discrete interaction approximation of the nonlinear energy transfer. In the 1970s, Ramamonjiarisoa (1974) and Ramamonjiarisoa et al. (1978) found a very curious phenomenon, that some high-frequency components in the wind wave spectrum did not follow the dispersion relation. This finding cast serious doubt on the spectral model of wind waves that assumes, as a first approximation, that spectral components are free waves and follow an ordinary dispersion relation. Many studies were implemented to clarify this problem. Among others, Masuda et al. (1979) and Mitsuyasu et al. (1979) published comprehensive studies. They indicated theoretically and experimentally that, in steep wind waves, high frequency components of nearly twice the frequency of the spectral peak were dominated by the nonlinear bounded waves that propagate with the same speed as that of the spectral components near the spectral peak. From the 1980s to 1990s, fundamental studies on the nonlinear properties of ocean surface waves were concentrated on the most difficult nonlinear phenomena of wave breaking. Banner and Peregrine (1993) and Melville (1996) presented successively comprehensive reviews of wave breaking. Wave breaking is not only important as an energy dissipation mechanism in the waves evolution but is also important in various exchange processes at the air-sea boundary. An example of the recently controversial subject is the effect of wave breaking on CO2 exchange through the air-sea interface. The effect of wave breaking on the momentum transfer from air to water is still not clear, either. The problem itself is relatively old but a new approach for future study is urgently needed. 2.4 Laboratory and ocean experiments In order to clarify oceanographic phenomena such as ocean surface waves, field observations are very important, while laboratory experiments under well-controlled condition give us a clear understanding of the funda-

mental processes involved. Many observational studies on ocean surface waves were carried out with this consideration, which took the form of the wave observation projects described below in Subsection 2.5. Laboratory experiment has many purposes, such as to discover new phenomena, to clarify fundamental processes in the phenomena and to verify the results of new theories. As shown in the previous sections, experimental studies have made important contributions to clarifying the dynamic processes of wind waves. Toba (1998) presented a comprehensive review of the experimental studies on wind waves as an air-sea boundary process. Recently satellite observations of the wind and waves in the ocean by using microwave sensors have moved from experiments to attain the status of routine operations (Bernstein, 1985; Stewart, 1985; Douglas and Cheney, 1990). They provide an enormous amount of accurate data on wind and waves in the ocean. Such wind and waves data on the global scale, in association with advanced numerical wave models, contribute to accurate wave forecasts (e.g., Romeiser, 1993). However, the theories of microwave backscattering at the sea surface are unsatisfactory even now (e.g., Apel, 1994; Keller et al., 1995), and the measurement still largely depends on various empirical formulas. Further fundamental studies are required to clarify this problem, too. 2.5 Air-sea and wave projects Accurate and systematic observations of wind and waves in the ocean, or more generally air-sea interaction phenomena, tend inevitably to be big projects, because they require the cooperation of many scientists and engineers. As shown in Table 1, many projects have been conducted, both national and international. In the 1950s, two remarkable wave-observation projects (Sun Glitter Project and Stereo Wave Observation Project) were conducted in the United States. Cox and Munk (1954) of the SIO took aerial photographs of the suns glitter on the sea surface in the Hawaiian area under various wind conditions. They clarified the statistical distribution of wave slopes and its dependence on the wind speed. On the other hand, Cote et al. (1960) of the NYU conducted a large project called the Stereo Wave Observation Project (SWOP), in which they took aerial stereo photographs of the sea surface in the North Atlantic. Through the very laborious analysis of the data, they were the first to determine the directional spectrum of ocean surface waves. In the 1960s, Longuet-Higgins et al. (1963) of the NIO in the United Kingdom presented an important paper. They made pioneering observations of the directional wave spectrum and atmospheric pressure fluctuations near the sea surface by using a pitch-and-roll buoy newly developed by the NIO. They used the data extensively to

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clarify the properties of the directional wave spectrum and the wave generation theories by Miles (1957) and Phillips (1957). In the 1960s, very celebrated project JONSWAP (Joint North Sea Wave Project) was also conducted in Europe by an international team (Hasselmann et al., 1973). It provided the following important results on the evolution of wave spectrum at finite fetches; fetch relations for the spectral parameters, similarity forms of the wave spectrum at finite fetches, and the effect of nonlinear energy transfer in the evolution of the wave spectrum. During the period from 1971 to 1974, a group of scientists and engineers at the Research Institute for Applied Mechanics (RIAM) of Kyushu University conducted a wave observation project (Mitsuyasu et al., 1975). They conducted a comprehensive observation of the directional wave spectrum in the North Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea by using a cloverleaf buoy that was developed by RIAM, based on the original NIO design. They first presented a similarity form of the directional wave spectrum in the generation area. The result was further extended by similar observations in 1980s by Hasselmann et al. (1980) and by Donelan et al. (1985). Currently we have a fairly clear understanding on the directional property of the dominant part of the wave spectrum, while the directional property of the high frequency part is still controversial (Banner et al., 1989). In the 1990s, many air-sea and wave observation projects have been conducted, typical examples of which are listed in the Table 1. The purposes of these projects were mainly to clarify the air-sea exchanges of various quantities such as momentum, heat, humidity, etc. Particular attention was focused on the effects of wind waves on the air-sea exchange processes. We have accumulated various new results on the phenomena, though it will take more time to derive definite conclusions. 2.6 Wave forecasting Accurate forecasting of ocean surface waves is one of the important goals in the study of ocean waves. As has repeatedly been mentioned, modern development in the study of ocean surface waves started from the study on wave forecasting done by Sverdrup and Munk (1947) during World War II. By using newly accumulated ocean wave data in the 1950s, Bretschneider (1952, 1958) and Wilson (1961, 1965) greatly improved the wave forecasting method of Sverdrup and Munk (1947), and presented a revised forecasting method, usually called the SMB method. Furthermore, in the 1950s, a statistical theory of random ocean waves was presented and the spectral structure of ocean surface waves was clarified to some extent. The accumulated knowledge in such fundamental study was effectively used to construct a spectral wave forecasting method by Pierson et al. (1955).

Inoue (1967) and Barnett (1968) presented numerical wave models in the 1960s with further progress in fundamental studies, such as wave generation mechanism, nonlinear energy transfer and energy balance equation (Hasselmann, 1960). It should be mentioned, however, that a French group independently developed the numerical wave model in an earlier period, the 1950s (Gelci et al., 1957). In Japan the MRI wave model was developed by Isozaki and Uji (1973) and used for routine wave forecasting at the Japan Meteorological Agency. About ten years later it was replaced by the MRI- II wave model (Uji, 1984). Various wave models were developed in many countries. And they were improved successively as summarized in the monograph Ocean Wave Modeling (The SWAMP Group, 1985), in which typical wave models developed in various countries were described. The TOHOKU Wave Model (Toba et al., 1985) and the MRI Wave Model (Uji, 1985), developed in Japan, were included. At present, third generation wave models such as the WAM model (The WAMDI Group, 1988), JWA3G model (Suzuki and Isozaki, 1994; Suzuki, 1995) and MRI-III model (Ueno and Ishizaka, 1997) have been developed with the support of recent studies on the fundamental processes that control the energy source terms, i.e., the energy input from the wind, the nonlinear energy transfer among spectral components and the energy dissipation due to wave breaking. In particular, the explicit computation of the nonlinear energy transfer characterizes the third generation wave models, which are used to predict the ocean surface waves at global scale with practically sufficient accuracy. However, even in the most advanced third generation wave models, some of the energy source terms depend largely on empirical knowledge. Further studies are needed to develop a more improved wave model, constructed on a sound physical basis. 2.7 International symposia In 1961 Sir George Deacon organized the first international symposium on Ocean Wave Spectra, held at Eaton, Maryland, in the USA. World leading scientists and engineers presented in this meeting a summary of the present state-of-the-art in the several fields of ocean wave studies. They also discussed the current research trends, future needs and the most recent techniques for ocean wave measurement and analysis. The meeting contributed greatly to the rapid progress in the study of ocean surface waves in the succeeding periods. Since then, similar symposia have been held until now, as shown in Table 1. However, the role of the symposium is slightly changing, because now we can exchange information quickly by other various ways and means. Main topics in the symposia are also gradually

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changing, from the dynamics of ocean surface waves to their contributions to the air-sea exchange process, and to contributions on recent problems in the changing global environment. Such a change of the aims or scope of the symposia is reflected on the very long titles of the symposia as shown in the appendix. 3. Concluding Remarks The historical development of the study of ocean surface waves can be roughly divided into four periods; initial period (before and in 1940s), growing period (1950s and 1960s), expanding period (1970s and 1980s), and the present period (post-1980s). The initial period is characterized by the wartime studies during World War II. The most fruitful result was obtained by Sverdrup and Munk (1947) who proposed not only an advanced forecasting method but also a framework for the study of ocean surface waves in the succeeding period when the measured wave data increased rapidly. Studies at the NIO in the UK also greatly contributed by developing measurement and analysis techniques for the wave data. The most outstanding contributions in the 1950s were the presentations of the two wave generation theories by Phillips (1957) and by Miles (1957). These theories were not necessarily in good agreement with observations but gave a fundamental framework for succeeding studies. The formulation of the statistical theory of random waves in this period was a great contribution too. Particularly spectral model, which was fundamentally supported by the random process theory, greatly advanced the study of ocean surface waves. It was a surprising event that such large projects as SWOP and the Sun Glitter Project were successfully accomplished in the early 1950s. One of the most important studies in the 1960s was the theoretical study of the nonlinear energy transfer among spectral components, which is a very important energy source term in the wave evolution in association with the energy transfer from wind to waves, though another important term of the energy dissipation due to wave breaking remains. The formulation of the numerical wave model based on the energy balance equation was also an important contribution in this period, opening the way to the development of more advanced models in succeeding periods. These two important studies contributed later to the development of a more advanced model, the third generation wave model. Roughly speaking, the dominant framework for the study on ocean surface waves was constructed until 1960s; we derived the statistical model to describe the random ocean surface waves, the dynamic model to describe the evolution of ocean surface waves, and the numerical wave

model to predict ocean surface waves at global scale. Studies in the 1970s and 1980s were devoted to adding more accurate information or to improving the results obtained previously. Typical examples of the important results are accurate descriptions of the evolution of the wave spectra, determination of the similarity forms of wave spectra, the derivation of the concept of local equilibrium in the wave evolution, and accurate computations of the nonlinear energy transfer. These fundamental studies supported the development of the advanced numerical wave models of the third generation. In the present period, starting from the 1990s, the study of the mechanism by which wind waves are generated is continuing, because the mechanism is still not completely understood, even now. However, more attention is being paid to the most difficult problem of wave breaking. Studies of wave breaking as a fluid dynamic phenomenon were greatly advanced by Longuet-Higgins and many other fluid dynamicists. However, many problems have still remained unsolved related to the contribution of wave breaking to the following phenomena: wave energy dissipation, which is an important element in the source term of energy balance equation, and various exchange processes at the air-sea boundary, which is greatly affected by wave breaking. Recent studies are focused on these problems, as described by Melville (1996). About half a century ago, Ursell (1956) stated in his famous review, Wind blowing over water surface generates waves in the water by a physical process which can not be regarded as known. A great many studies conducted after that time have given us a tremendous amount of information on the statistical and dynamic properties of ocean surface waves and made it possible to compute the waves at global scale with sufficient accuracy for practical purposes. However it will be difficult, even now, to answer the question, Have we really clarified the physical process of wind wave generation and decay? Acknowledgements I wish to express my sincere thanks to Professor A. Masuda of Kyushu University for many stimulating discussions and for his critical reading of the manuscript, which contributed greatly to improving this paper. I also wish to thank Professor H. Honji of Kyushu University for his invaluable advice and constant encouragement. Without his encouragement it would have been difficult to complete this article. My sincere thanks are extended to Professor Emeritus Y. Toba of Tohoku University for his valuable comments and to anonymous reviewers for their careful reviews and constructive comments.

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Appendix 1: Earth Observing Satellites SEASAT: (1978) GEOSAT: Geodetic Satellite (19851989) ERS 1: Earth Research Satellite 1 (19911996) ERS 2: Earth Research Satellite 2 (19952001) ADEOS: Advanced Earth Observation Satellite (19961997) [The years in ( ) show the year of launch and life.] Appendix 2: Symposia and Their Proceedings 1948: Ocean Surface Wave; New York, USA Ocean Surface Wave. p. 343572. In Annals of New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 5, Art 3, ed. by B. Haurwitz, Published by the Academy (1949), New York. 1950: International Conference on Coastal Engineering; Berkeley, California, USA Proceeding of First Conference on Coastal Engineering. Council of Wave Research, Engineering Foundation (1951). 1961: Ocean Wave Spectra; Eaton, Maryland, USA Ocean Wave Spectra. Prentice-Hall, INC., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (1963), 357 pp. 1977: Turbulent Fluxes through Sea Surface, Wave Dynamics and Prediction; Marseille, France Turbulent Fluxes through Sea Surface, Wave Dynamics and Prediction, ed. by A. Favre and K. Hasselmann, NATO Conference Series V, Air-Sea Interactions. Plenum Press, New York (1978), 677 pp. 1981: Wave Dynamics and Radio Probing of Ocean Surface; Miami, USA Wave Dynamics and Radio Probing of Ocean Surface, ed. by O. M. Phillips and K. Hasselmann, Plenum Press (1986), 694 pp. 1984: The Ocean Surface, Wave Breaking, Turbulent Mixing and Radio Probing; Sendai, Japan The Ocean Surface, Wave Breaking, Turbulent Mixing and Radio Probing, ed. by Y. Toba and H. Mitsuyasu, D. Reidel Publishing Company (1985), 586 pp. 1991: Breaking Waves: IUTAM Symposium; Sydney, Australia Breaking Waves, ed. by M. L. Banner and R. H. J. Grimshow, Springer-Verlag (1992), 387 pp. 1993: The Air-Sea Interface, Radio and Acoustic Sensing, Turbulence and Dynamics; Marseille, France The Air-Sea Interface, Radio and Acoustic Sensing, Turbulence and Dynamics, ed. by M. A. Donelan, W. H. Hui and W. J. Plant, Published by University of Miami (1996), 789 pp. 1997: Wind-over-Wave Coupling; Salford, the United Kingdom Wind-over-Wave CouplingPerspectives and Pros-

pects, ed. by S. G. Sajiadi, N. H. Thomas and J. G. R. Hunt, Clarendon Press Oxford (1999), 356 pp. 1999: The Wind-driven Air-Sea Interface, Electromagnetic and Acoustic Sensing, Wave Dynamics and Turbulent Fluxes; Sydney, Australia The Wind-driven Air-Sea Interface, Electromagnetic and Acoustic Sensing, Wave Dynamics and Turbulent Fluxes, ed. by M. L. Banner, The Univ. New South Wales (1999), 448 pp. [The year in ( ) means the year of the publication of the proceeding. ] Appendix 3: Typical Monographs and Comprehensive Reviews [1950s] Ursell, F. (1956): Wave generation by wind. p. 216249. In Surveys in Mechanics, ed. by G. K. Batchelor, Cambridge University Press. [1960s] Kinsman, B. (1965): Wind Waves; their Generation and Propagation on the Ocean Surface, Prentice Hall, Inc., 676 pp. Hasselmann, K. (1968): Weak interaction theory of ocean surface waves. p. 117182. In Basic Developments in Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 2, ed. by M. Holt, Academic. [1970s] Phillips, O. M. (1977): The Dynamics of the Upper Ocean. Cambridge University Press, 336 pp. Barnett, T. P. and K. E. Kenyon (1975): Recent advances in the study of wind waves. Rep. Prog. Phys., 38, 667729. [1980s] The SWAMP Group (24 Authors) (1985): Ocean Wave Modeling. Plenum Press, New York and London, 256 pp. Stewart, R. H. (1985): Method of Satellite Oceanography. University of California Press, 360 pp. [1990s] Komen, G. J., L. Cavaleiri, M. Donelan, K. Hasselmann, S. Hsselmann and P. A. E. M. Janssen (1994): Dynamics and Modelling of Ocean Waves. Cambridge University Press, 532 pp. Mitsuyasu, H. (1995): Physics of Ocean Waves. Iwanami Shoten, 210 pp. (in Japanese). Ochi, M. K. (1998): Ocean Waves. Cambridge Ocean Technology Series 6. Cambridge University Press, 319 pp. Perrie, W. (1998): Nonlinear Ocean Waves (Advances in Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 17, Series editor: M. Rahman). Computational Mechanics Publications, Southampton and Boston, 258 pp. Isozaki, I. and Y. Suzuki (1999): Analysis and Forecasting of Ocean Waves. Tokai University Press, 274 pp. (in Japanese).

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