Journal of
Oceanography and Marine Science

  • Abbreviation: J. Oceanogr. Mar. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2294
  • DOI: 10.5897/JOMS
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 61

Full Length Research Paper

An overview of recent technologies on wave and current measurement in coastal and marine applications

P. Kasinatha Pandian1*, Osalusi Emmanuel2, J. P. Ruscoe2, J. C. Side2, R. E. Harris2, S. A. Kerr2 and C. R. Bullen2
  1Department of Civil Engineering, Tagore Engineering College, Chennai 600048, India. 2International Centre for Island Technology, Heriot-Watt University (Orkney Campus), Stromness, Orkney, Scotland, KW16 3AW, United Kingdom.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 05 December 2009
  •  Published: 31 January 2010



The coastal ocean is the most important zone for the maritime countries for recreation, mineral and energy exploitation, weather forecasting and national security. Understanding of coastal and oceanic processes is mostly based on field measurements and laboratory experiments. Most coastal processes occur over relatively long time spans and have large spatial extents. They also involve or are impacted by a variety of factors such as waves, wind, tide, storm surges, currents, beach sediment properties, etc. Measurements of waves, both on site and in wave flumes, are carried out using different techniques. This article reviews the different technologies available and presently adopted in wave and current measurements. Different instruments for wave and current measurement have its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the applications and needs. A detailed overview of various studies carried out in worldwide locations on wave and current measurements is presented. Various instruments, their application, advantages, disadvantages and accuracy are discussed in this article. It is essential to choose the type of instrument most appropriate to the application, based on the requirements, necessitating a thorough knowledge of the instruments available, the funding and duration of the project.


Key words: Measurements, waves, currents, buoys, ADCPs, radars, remote sensing.