Spatio-temporal variation in sea state parameters along virtual ship route paths

Ulrik D. Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The article presents a study investigating the level of variation in sea state parameters encountered by sailing ships crossing the oceans. The sea state parameters have been obtained from a reanalysis, in this case the ERA5. The study is based on the use of different interpolation schemes to compute parameters in geographical positions off the fixed grid. It is shown that the variation in sea state parameters can be significant. Consequently, in case of sailing ships, covering relatively long distances in a short time (30-60 minutes), it is recommended to rely on bilinear interpolation rather than nearest neighbour. The variation in the sea state parameters is, in fact, at a level which means that the normal assumption of a stationary seaway in periods up to 3 hours likely is violated for ships sailing the typical service speed (15 – 20+ knots).
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Operational Oceanography
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Sea state parameter variation
  • ERA5
  • Spatial interpolation
  • Ship operations

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