Wave data (real time)

Find out about near real time wave data and compare the data across the WA coastline. Also find out about sea and swell waves.

  Interactive real time map - wave data

Click a location on the map below to view wave information.

Note: Please view the page in landscape mode

The wave monitoring sites consist of waverider buoys developed by Dutch company, Datawell. The buoys are typically moored in water depth between 30-60 metres.

The data provides near real time information about wave conditions and extreme events impacting the WA coastline. This information supports DoTís roles in strategic planning, coastal and maritime development and management of WA coastline.

How to use this map

To view near real time data from the wave stations, click on the icons on the map. You can also compare the near real-time conditions for different locations around the state.

Quality-controlled data

This real-time information has been recovered directly from automatic recording equipment and has not been quality controlled by DoT. All times are recorded in Australian Western Standard Time (UTC+8:00).

Quality controlled data is also available to download.

All data provided is subject to the Department of Transportís disclaimer, conditions of use and copyright policy.

  Wave data technical information

Wave height depends on: 

  • The length of time a wind blows. 
  • How far over the water it travels, so easterlies and local sea breezes make smaller waves than steady winds off the ocean. 

Above 15 knots there will be many whitecaps and some spray. Swell waves are independent of existing wind. They are decaying waves usually produced by strong winds in distant blows. Though smooth and harmless looking, they travel very quickly and can create big breakers in shallowing water.

How the waverider works

The waverider surface displacement radio signal is received at a shore station. The waverider receiver, converts / processes this signal and calculates waverider heave (height of each wave). This data is then sent to a DoT central computer in Fremantle to provide near real-time wave information. 

About waves

The wave climate at any location is a combination of sea and swell waves referred to as the total wave. 

Swell waves are generated from distant storms, normally in the Southern Ocean. Unless there is cyclone activity in the north, the same swell patterns are observed to varying heights and at different times along the coast. Swell waves are long and smooth and are generally characterised by a wave period greater than 8 seconds. The wave period is the time between consecutive wave crests. 

Sea waves are generated by local winds and are usually short and choppy. They have shorter wavelengths and periods than swell waves and are generally steeper.

Waves are commonly characterised by their Significant wave height (Hs), which is the average of the highest one-third (33%) of the waves (measured from trough to crest) that occur in a given period. The significant wave height is the average of the highest waves, however many individual waves will probably be much higher. 

Caution: Maximum wave height (Hmax) can be up to twice the size of the Significant wave height (Hs).

Further information about wave data can be obtained from the following resources:

External Link Datawell, Netherlands
External Link Bureau of Meteorology (BOM): Marine and Ocean
Page last updated: Thu Dec 9 2021 12:41:29 PM