Statistical Uncertainty in Long-Term Distributions of Significant Wave Height

[+] Author and Article Information
C. Guedes Soares, A. C. Henriques

Unit of Marine Technology and Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnica, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1096 Lisboa Codex, Portugal

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 118(4), 284-291 (Nov 01, 1996) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2833917 History: Received January 01, 1995; Revised August 01, 1996; Online January 25, 2008


This work examines some aspects involved in the estimation of the parameters of the probability distribution of significant wave height, in particular the homogeneity of the data sets and the statistical methods of fitting a distribution to data. More homogeneous data sets are organized by collecting the data on a monthly basis and by separating the simple sea states from the combined ones. A three-parameter Weibull distribution is fitted to the data. The parameters of the fitted distribution are estimated by the methods of maximum likelihood, of regression, and of the moments. The uncertainty involved in estimating the probability distribution with the three methods is compared with the one that results from using more homogeneous data sets, and it is concluded that the uncertainty involved in the fitting procedure can be more significant unless the method of moments is not considered.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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