Wave Energy in Kelp Forests

Award Period: 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 to Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Award Amount: 

$124 263

Agency Name: 

USDI Geological Survey

Award Number: 


PI First Name: 


PI last name: 


MSI Person: 

Area/s of Research: 


Introduction and Statement of Problem.

BOEM, a client of USGS, seeks ways to better understand the ecological dynamics of nearshore ecosystems. A particular research gap is the effect of wave energy. For the past years, UCSB has been collaborating with USGS to build and deploy wave sensors at several sites throughout the channel. UCSB proposes to complete these measurements and the analysis of the associated data.


We plan to determine how marine communities (specifically kelp plants) respond to environmental variation. Two specific goals of interest are (1) determine the distribution of wave period and amplitude across the study region of the nearshore environments off the central California coast by using in-situ wave sensors in kelp forests, and (2) determine how wave model predictions compare to empirical observations field observations and the predicted wave energy from the CDIP Nowcast models. This comparison will indicate the extent that CDIP Nowcast models provide accurate wave energy information from BOEM and the extent to which they need to be corrected for future ecological analyses.