New Wave Buoy off Pearl Harbor


New Wave Buoy off Pearl Harbor

PacIOOS deployed a new wave buoy near the entrance to Pearl Harbor, Hawaiʻi, approximately 1.5 miles offshore at the beginning of June. The wave buoy provides accurate information on wave height, direction, and period, and also measures surface currents and sea surface temperature.

Wave buoy data benefit the entire community and are important to make well-informed and safe decisions. Real-time wave information improves surf and ocean observations, and enhances wave modeling and surf forecasting. All wave buoy data are available online and free of charge.

Melissa Iwamoto, Director of PacIOOS, explains, “County, state, and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, and NOAA’s National Weather Service, incorporate wave buoy data into their daily operational decision-making processes. Many commercial and recreational ocean users, community members, and researchers, also rely on the data. We are therefore extremely excited to offer a new observing asset to augment the existing network and better serve our community of users.”

The wave buoy off Pearl Harbor is the first PacIOOS wave buoy with the capability to measure surface currents at 10-min intervals. Currents data, along with wave information, will help to enhance marine safety, navigation, and harbor operations on Oʻahu’s South Shore, in particular in the waters around Pearl Harbor.

The location of the buoy has been issued as a Notice to Mariners and is included on nautical charts; however, the buoy is constantly in motion and can drift from its charted position. To keep the buoy and its sensors operational, vessel operators and other ocean users are asked to maintain a stand-off distance of at least 300 feet to avoid collisions and damage to the buoy. Boaters, kayakers, and stand-up paddlers are asked to refrain from tying to the equipment and to avoid fishing near the buoy.

The Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa provided the initial support to purchase this buoy with funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The buoy joins a network of 15 real-time wave buoys across the Pacific Islands, owned and operated by PacIOOS. Data management for the PacIOOS wave buoys is made possible through long-term partnerships with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP).

Photo Credit: Karen Williams Bryan

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Did you know?

PacIOOS is the first regional association that was certified as a Regional Information Coordination Entity (RICE) by the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Certification provides NOAA and its interagency partners a means to verify that a regional association’s organizational and operational practices, including data management, meet recognized and established standards set by NOAA.